Dismount When Crossing Roadway?

Question

Leo asked: Must a person legally have to get off the bicycle and walk crossing the street or can he or she ride the bicycle across? Please give me the references if possible.

Answer

In order to be a legal requirement, there must be a statute, ordinance or regulation to that effect.  There is no state statute requiring bicyclists to dismount while crossing a roadway.

When in the roadway, bicyclists, which are operating vehicles, must stop at stop signs and yield as required.

s. 316.123Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection

(2)(a) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.

When on a sidewalk and in a crosswalk, the wording in the statute that allows riding across the roadway is clear, “propelling a vehicle by human power …. across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk ….”.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(10) 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.

The exception is that there may a local ordinance requiring cyclists to walk the bicycle in a crosswalk. I am aware of only one such regulation at a university. That only applies to bicyclists on the sidewalk and crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.

See this post for more information:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/09/dismount-at-crosswalks/

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Posted in Ask Geo, Sidewalks & Crosswalks
3 comments on “Dismount When Crossing Roadway?
  1. SpecialFX says:

    Leo,

    Can you be a bit more specific as to how you are “crossing a roadway”?

    I’m trying to figure out, why you asked that question.

  2. Barry Flynn says:

    A friend had an incident a few days ago. He was waiting to turn right onto a divided road. When an opening appeared, he started to pull out, turning right. A bicyclist was riding against traffic on the sidewalk and proceeded across the intersection where my friend was pulling out. My friend saw him after beginning his turn and stopped, lightly bumping the bicyclist (no injury, slight warping of the front wheel of the bike). I’d like to know what are the rules concerning riding on sidewalks in Duval County. The man said he was fine, and didn’t want police called, my friend gave the man $16 (the cash he had) to get the wheel fixed, and went on his way. He later came by the same intersection and saw JSO there with lights etc. He stopped to ask the situation, and was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. I think the bicyclist (homeless) is out for a payday, but wish to know the rules on sidewalk riding. I was always told the you must follow the rules of cars, meaning you cannot ride a bike on the sidewalk.

  3. Geo says:

    Most traffic laws apply to bicycles, since they are vehicles, unless specifically defined in the statutes. For example, bicycles are permitted on sidewalks unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary. You can find the local ordinances for your city or county by searching for Municodes for your community. They are too varied and numerous to include in this site. See the posts under the tags “sidewalks” and “crosswalks” for more information.

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