Assault and Battery
Barbara asked: If I am traveling the direction of the arrow in the bike lane and a pedestrian is walking toward me and pushes me off my bike and hurts me is this a problem?
Yes it is! The bike lane is part of the roadway and is intended for vehicles. The sidewalk is intended for pedestrians.
FS 316.003 – Definitions
(42) Roadway – That portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.
47) Sidewalk – That portion of a street between the curbline, or the lateral line, of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for use by pedestrians.
There are two provisions that deal with pedestrians and their proper place to walk, depending on whether there is a sidewalk.
FS 316.130 – Pedestrians
(3) Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.
(4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.
There are two criminal statutes that address these situations. One is a threat of violence.
FS 784.011 – Assault
(1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
The other is intentional striking or unwanted touching and can occur whether there is injury or not.
FS 784.03 – Battery
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
These are criminal acts and warrant the attention of law enforcement. They should be notified immediately.