Backing Vehicles in the Bike Lane
Ozzie asked: In the community where I live there is a bike lane adjacent to the main road. It seems at times that two specific bikers dream about being in the Tour de France and travel pretty fast in those lanes. Now, in order to back my truck into my driveway, I have to cross the biker’s lane for a few seconds. This specific biker told me the other day that I am breaking the Law because I suppose to stop my truck completely and allow to zoom by before I back my truck into the driveway. Now, if he is ahead of me I slow down enough, so I can back into my driveway without interrupting his workout, but if he was coming behind me and I am backing into my driveway, I think he should slow down. I asked my next door neighbor, who is a policeman, and told me that I was right, but I need something in black and white to hand it to this gentleman.
I recommend that you ask the officer to explain the laws that apply and the officer’s conclusion that you are correct. Please ask the officer to provide the information to this site.
I come to a different conclusion. The primary statute seems to be that a driver backing a vehicle must not interfere with other traffic. It appears you are backing unlawfully if you are interfering with other traffic, in this case the bicyclist.
s. 316.1985 – Limitations on Backing
(1) The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic.
Bicycles are traffic.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(57) Traffic – Pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, and vehicles, …. while using any street or highway for purposes of travel.
You may also be in violation of the statute that prohibits stopping on a bike lane.
s. 316.1945 – Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Specified Places
(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:
(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:
6. On an exclusive bicycle lane.
The bicyclists are entitled to travel at a fast speed if they are obeying the posted speed limit.
Although it is sometimes necessary to enter a bicycle lane briefly to cross to enter or leave the travel lane, bike lanes are for the exclusive use of bicyclists. Therefore, bicyclists would seem to have the right of way when in the bike lane.
If a vehicle is stopped in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway and the driver backs into the right lane and interferes with other traffic, that driver is in violation.
A bike lane is also a lane, and if you are in the lane to the left of the bike lane and interfere with other traffic while backing across the bike lane, it seems to be a similar situation.
Bicyclists should also be aware that they may leave the bike lane for many reasons including to avoid an unsafe condition, in this case the apparent unlawful stopping and backing of a vehicle.
s. 316.2965 – Bicycle Regulations
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane.