Bicyclists Must Use Bike Lanes?

Question

Thomas asked:  I was pulled over today and was told by local police that when a bike lane is available it must be used instead of vehicle roadway.

Answer

A bicycle is a vehicle under Florida statutes and bicycle operators have all the rights and duties of other drivers, with some limitations.  Under some circumstances, they must use lanes marked for the use of bicycles.  There are many exceptions.  See the following post.  Also you can click on “bike lanes” in the tag cloud for much more information about this subject.

http://flbikelaw.org/2011/04/bike-lanes-2/

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2 comments on “Bicyclists Must Use Bike Lanes?
  1. NE2 says:

    A bike lane is part of the vehicle roadway. If there’s a physical separation, it’s not a bike lane but a sidepath, and is not mandatory under any circumstances (unless the road is limited-access).

  2. Frank says:

    All “bicycle lanes” are marked as such…
    If there is no marking for a bicycle lane… (examples- white paint on roadway / lane showing a cyclist and an arrow[marking direction of travel], a “bike lane” sign, etc) then it is considered a curb, a paved shoulder, etc and not considered part of the roadway and there is no legal demand that you use it (although you MAY, if you want to)..

    The law is basically this…
    If you’re on the roadway and there is a clearly marked bicycle lane, you must use it (re: 316.2065 (5a)) UNLESS….
    And here are the “exclusions” as ALSO per 316.2065…
    …. except under any of the following situations:

    1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

    2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

    3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge.

    So the officer in question was correct… If there is a bicycle lane, you should use it unless one of the above exceptions holds true..

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