Another Right Hook

Question

Stuart asked: I recently was involved in an accident with an electric bike. I was driving on major street with bike lane on my right. I signaled to make right turn into shopping center. While my car was halfway into parking lot, electric bike hit my right rear door. Bike was evidently behind me on right. Police report stated that bike “impacted ” my car. I was not cited. What Florida law or case study can I look to to support my position that I was not negligent and the operator of the bike was?

Answer

Sorry Stuart, but apparently you violated four statutes and the cyclist did nothing wrong. I’m surprised that you were not cited.


You apparently passed the cyclist and turned without insuring it was safe.

s. 316.083Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle

The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction ….

(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction …. shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Since you crossed the bike lane while turning, you were not as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway to properly prepare to turn. The bike lane is part of the roadway.

s. 316.151 – Required Position and Method of Turning at Intersections

(1)  The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:

(a)  Right turn – Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

You also didn’t insure that you would not interfere with other traffic before driving from a direct course and did not determine that you were being approached in the bike lane.

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

(2)  No vehicle shall be driven from a direct course … 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 move can be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction.

You moved to the right without insuring that the move could be made safely.

s. 316.155 – When Signal Required

No person may turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a highway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety…

See this post and others on this site about right turns:

http://flbikelaw.org/2009/08/138/

Posted in Ask Geo, Making Turns
5 comments on “Another Right Hook
  1. Dwight Kingsbury says:

    This is paragraph (D) of section 32:203 of Louisiana Revised Statutes (http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=726497 ), which prohibits operating a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane, but lists several exceptions; this is one of them. Florida has no law that prohibits operating a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane.

  2. Geo says:

    NE2,
    See Dwight’s clarification of the origin. We welcome comments about other states’ laws.

  3. Geo says:

    Good catch NE2.

    Here’s the comment without the address.
    .
    “In case of an emergency, the driver of a motor vehicle may lawfully operate the vehicle in a bicycle lane in accordance with the normal standards of prudent conduct to protect himself and others from harm. When the emergency ends, the motor vehicle shall not be operated in the bicycle lane.”

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