Yielding to Backed Up Traffic
Laura asked: In Florida, is it law that cyclists (and I presume motorists) must pull off the road when practicable, when a certain number of vehicles are following behind them in a non-passing zone? As a young driver of an older car in California, I knew of such a law there. Is there a counterpart in Florida?
The California law to which you refer is this:
V C Section 21656 Turning Out of Slow Moving Vehicles
Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles
6. On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.
There is no such law in Florida, but we recommend that cyclists be aware of these situations and consider safely moving to a position that allows backed up traffic to pass.
Florida law permits crossing the double yellow center line when an obstruction exists if the adjacent lane is clear.
s. 316.0875 – No Passing Zones
(2) …. no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway with such no-passing zone ….
(3) This section does not apply when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway ….
We believe a slow moving bicycle would be considered an obstruction.
It should be noted that a motorist cannot legally or safely pass a cyclist while remaining fully in a substandard-width lane even if the cyclist is riding far to the right. See the posts on “Lane Width and Sharing”.
See these posts about no-passing zones: