Motorcycle in the Bike Lane
Kirby in MN asked: My head is spinning looking into the very ambiguous Florida bike /bike lane statutes. Maybe you could find this quicker with your experience with FL statutes. If I was a Florida cop and saw a motorcyclist (full size not a moped) riding in a bike lane, what statute would I charge him with violating?
These two statutes would be the basis for the citation:
s. 316.089 Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic
Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent herewith, shall apply:
(3) Official traffic control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway; and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.
s. 316.074 Obedience to and Required Traffic Control Devices
(1) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto,
Here’s the definition from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:
23. Bicycle Lane—a portion of a roadway that has been designated for preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists by pavement markings and, if used, signs.
And from the Florida Department of Transportation Plans Preparation Manual:
3. Bicycle Lane: A bicycle lane (bike lane) is a portion of a roadway (either with curb and gutter or a flush shoulder) which has been designated by striping, special pavement markings, and signing for the preferential use by bicyclists.
It is interesting to note the difference in the definition above. The MUTCD uses “preferential or exclusive”, and the PPM uses only ”preferential”.
I don’t believe there is any difference though, because the MUTCD also defines a preferential lane to be exclusive.
153. Preferential Lane—a highway lane reserved for the exclusive use of one or more specific types of vehicles
There would be no difference if the vehicle in the bike lane were a motorcycle or a moped operating on motor power since for traffic law purposes, both are motor vehicles.
However, if the moped were operating using only human power, there would be no violation since it would be operating as a bicycle.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(2) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power …. having two tandem wheels ….