Motorist Entering the Roadway
Kathy asked: I hit a bicyclist yesterday. I did not see him. He’s okay. His bike will need a new front wheel. Thankfully, it was a very slow/low impact accident as I had just put my vehicle in first gear. I was pulling out of the drive onto a 6 lane divided highway and turning to my right to join the westbound traffic. The cyclist was traveling due east on the sidewalk. This 6 lane divided highway has bicycle lanes and the cyclist was on the sidewalk riding against traffic instead of with traffic. I was cited for failure to yield. I was stunned. Isn’t there also a law for cyclists about riding with traffic? I’m confused.
When in the roadway, a cyclist is operating a vehicle and must ride on the right with other traffic.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle
When on a sidewalk, a bicyclist has the rights and duties of a pedestrian and there is no requirement to walk or cycle in a particular direction.
(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
A motorist entering the roadway from a driveway is required to stop at the sidewalk or sidewalk area and yield to pedestrians (and bicyclists with the rights and duties of pedestrians).
s. 316.125 – Vehicle Entering Highway from Private Road or Driveway or Emerging from Alley, Driveway or Building
(2) The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon and shall yield to all vehicles and pedestrians which are so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
This is a common occurrence and one of the reasons that cyclists using the sidewalk, although it is lawful, are strongly cautioned to use extra care. Drivers do not expect traffic from the right on the sidewalk, paved shoulder or the roadway. Typically they do not look to the right for pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
If cyclists do use a sidewalk, riding in the same direction of roadway traffic reduces the hazard somewhat.
There are many other reasons cycling on sidewalks is hazardous that are discussed in other posts on this site.