Bicycling on SR 27 in Lake County


Chuck asked: My 22 year old son was stopped by a Lake County Deputy Sheriff this morning at 6:00 am and told it was illegal for him to ride in the right most portion of Hwy 27 near Lake Louisa State Park. Is this true?


With few exceptions, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers in the roadway.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

The most basic right of a vehicle operator is the use of the roadway. Bicycles are permitted on the roadways unless prohibited by statute, regulation or ordinance, in which case signs should be posted accordingly.

In some situations, bicyclists are required to keep right in the roadway.

s. 316.2065Bicycle Regulations

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway ….

There are many situations in which keeping right or in a bike lane is not required. See other posts on this site.

It appears Rt. 27 in the area you note is a high-speed multi-lane roadway and the deputy may be concerned about your son’s safety. It also seems there is a decent paved shoulder there, on which bicyclists may ride if they so desire. If the paved shoulder is in good condition, prudence may dictate riding there instead of a high-speed roadway, however, there is no legal requirement to ride on a paved shoulder. The paved shoulder that is not marked as a bike lane is not part of the roadway.  A bike lane is part of the roadway.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(42) Roadway – That portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.

Can we assume your son’s bicycle was lighted as required since daybreak is after 6:00 AM? See this post about the lighting requirements.

I recommend taking this information to the desk officer at the Sheriff’s Office and asking about this question.

2 Comments on “Bicycling on SR 27 in Lake County

  1. Having had too much experience in the past with issues of this nature, I would add to the suggestion of speaking to a desk officer. The addition would be to take the advice the officer provides with a grain of salt. A cycling attorney or a law judge would be a better choice for information of this nature. Almost without exception, the law enforcement officers with whom I’ve had interaction have been either ignorant of the laws or have chosen to ignore that with which they disagree. Being personally involved with watching a judge explain the law to a pair of officers was enlightening for me, probably not so much for the officers!

  2. You did not state if he was riding with or against the traffic. If he was riding against the traffic, I can see whe he was stopped. Otherwise I would take the previous suggestion and go to the local desk office and explain / ask.

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