Sidewalk Cyclists and Motorists at Driveways
Vicki asked: When a person riding a bike on the sidewalk crosses an ingress or egress to a business that a motor vehicle may be entering, which of the operators has the right of way. I continually encounter cyclists that just keep on pedaling across the ingress or egress with no attempt to avoid a collision, and offering no caution.
The bicyclist or a pedestrian has the right of way over a motorist entering the roadway across a sidewalk or sidewalk area from a driveway. This is the applicable law:
s. 316.125 – Vehicle Entering Highway from Private Road or Driveway or Emerging from Alley, Driveway or Building
(2) The driver of a vehicle emerging from a … driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto a sidewalk area extending across the … driveway … , shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon and shall yield to all vehicles and pedestrians which are so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Although there is no specific law such as that above for drivers entering a driveway from a roadway, that driver is crossing a crosswalk, the area connecting the edges of the sidewalk across the driveway, even though unmarked, and must yield to bicyclists in the crosswalk. These posts discuss the details and statutes related to bicyclists on the sidewalk and motorists crossing the sidewalk.
Additionally, there are two statutes that require due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians or bicyclists.
s. 316.130 – Pedestrian; Traffic Regulations
(15) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle ….
s. 316.185 – Special Hazards
The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prescribed limits shall not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed …. when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or other roadway conditions, and speed shall be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the street in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.