Right of Way Leaving a Roadway

Question

Vitaly asked: I have 2 questions.

1st. is in regards to statue s. 316.125 where it says that as a driver entering a highway we have to yield to pedestrians and bicycles, but there is no statue if we are entering FROM the highway? If I am turning into a parking lot from a highway and I look around and see nobody and then a bicycle rider hits me in the back side of my car, who’s fault is it?

Which brings me to the next question, how fast can a bicyclist ride on the sidewalk? If I am turning into a parking lot, slowly and carefully, and I do not see anyone, but he is flying along the sidewalk and not paying any attention, is it really my fault?

Answer

Regarding the first question, there is no specific statute that addresses leaving a roadway to turn into a driveway or parking lot, as there is for crossing a sidewalk area when entering a roadway from a driveway or parking lot. See this post:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/08/crosswalks-driveways-and-bicycles/

We must keep in mind that bicyclists on the sidewalk or crosswalk have the rights and duties of pedestrians, which includes having motorists yield to them in certain situations.

When turning from a roadway to a driveway, one must cross the sidewalk area, whether or not it is a paved sidewalk.  That area is likely a crosswalk, the extension of the sidewalk area across the driveway.  It need not have crosswalk markings to be a crosswalk.  A crosswalk may be marked or unmarked.  The same provisions apply in either case.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(6) Crosswalk

(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.

(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.There is no speed limit for bicyclists on sidewalks, but there is general due care statutory guidance about vehicle speed on the highway, which includes the sidewalk area.

Another statute that might apply is the requirement to insure that there is no danger to an overtaking driver before moving left or right in the highway, which includes the sidewalk.

s. 316.085 – Limitations on Overtaking, Passing, Changing Lanes and Changing Course

(2) No vehicle shall be driven from a direct course in any lane on any highway until the driver has determined that the vehicle is not being approached or passed by any other vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver desires to move and that the move can be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction.

(e) Any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

There is no statutory speed limit for bicyclists on the sidewalk.  There are other speed restrictions on a bicyclist on the sidewalk, which is a part of the highway.

s. 316.183Unlawful Speed

(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

(4) The driver of every vehicle shall …. drive at an appropriately reduced speed when:

(a) Approaching and crossing an intersection ….

The sidewalk or sidewalk area is a part of the highway, which includes the entire right of way within the property boundaries.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(53) Street or Highway

(a) The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic;

(b) The entire width between the boundary lines of any privately owned way or place used for vehicular travel by the owner and those having express or implied permission from the owner ….

In order to determine fault or liability, ALL of the details of the situation must be known.  That cannot be done with the information given.   Please review all of the posts in the tag cloud about “Sidewalks” and “Crosswalks” and consult an attorney about a particular situation.

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks Tagged with: , , ,
One comment on “Right of Way Leaving a Roadway
  1. Dwight says:

    Some US cities have established speed limits for bicycle riders on sidewalks. For example, in Long Beach, California, the speed limit is 5 mph “where pedestrians are present”, otherwise 15 mph on a sidewalk, “unless otherwise posted”. This is set forth in section 10.48.070 of the City’s Municipal Code:

    “The speed limit for bicycles on a sidewalk is fifteen (15) miles per hour unless otherwise posted. The speed limit where pedestrians are present is five (5) miles per hour.”
    http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16115

    At this time, though, I’m not aware of any city in Florida that has an ordinance about sidewalk speed limits.

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