More About Crosswalks

Question

Thyme asked: In Miami Beach, I have not found a local ordinance forbidding riding a bike, on the sidewalk, against the flow of traffic.

While doing so, and crossing a crosswalk (white ‘go’ sign), I was hit by a car making a right turn. The officer cited me, with reckless driving. I am going to court and would like to know if there are any local laws that I should be aware of? Doesn’t Statute 316.2065 give me the right to ride as I did?

Answer

Although you seem to have done so already, I have searched the municodes for Miami Beach and Miami Dade County at these links, and can find no mention of cycling on the sidewalk or crosswalk, so only the state statutes apply. Check the citation carefully to determine the violation.

http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=13097&stateID=9&statename=Florida

http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10620&stateId=9&stateName=Florida

Your reading of the statute is correct. When on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk, cyclists have the rights and duties of pedestrians, and motorists must yield to them, particularly if you are obeying the walk signal, and unless there are mitigating circumstances, such as excessive bike speed.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(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.

(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

s. 316.130Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations

(1) A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

(2) Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic control signals at intersections as provided in s. 316.075, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and be subject to the restrictions stated in this chapter.

(7)(a) The driver of a vehicle at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

The state statute regarding reckless driving is not specific, but it would not seem to cover a cyclist riding legally in a crosswalk.

s. 316.192Reckless Driving

(1)(a) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

I recommend retaining an attorney and filing a pretrial motion to dismiss. Traffic courts are usually hectic and rushed, and it is not always possible to get a full hearing of your case. Many traffic court magistrates and judges are not fully versed in the laws applicable to bicyclists and are motivated by the number of cases they close. A pretrial motion to dismiss is in writing and must be answered in writing, which automatically creates a situation in which the case receives full and careful consideration. That also provides the documentation for an appeal if that is necessary, which will not result from traffic court.

See also the posts under “sidewalks” and “crosswalks” in the tag cloud for more information to support your case.

Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks Tagged with: , , ,

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