Drivers Leaving a Shopping Plaza
Karen asked: “On the roadway”, does this also include the sidewalk? As is a person riding the bike against traffic runs into the car pulling out of a shopping plaza. Who would be at fault? The driver of the car isn’t looking for a bicyclist moving at a good pace on the sidewalk riding against traffic.
This is a common problem resulting in many crashes. As you mentioned, motorists entering a roadway typically do not expect traffic from the right and frequently do not look in that direction.
The roadway does not include the sidewalk.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(a) That part of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel…
(70) Sidewalk – That portion of a street between the curbline, or the lateral line, of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for use by pedestrians.
A person riding a bicycle on the sidewalk has the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances and can ride in either direction. If riding against the flow of traffic on the roadway, extra caution is recommended.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(9) 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 driveway in this situation is crossing a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked as such
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway ….
Motorists crossing a crosswalk are required to stop and yield to pedestrians (and bicyclists with the rights and duties of pedestrians) that are within the crosswalk. That may or may not be controlled by traffic control devices.
s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations
(7)(a) The driver of a vehicle at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) The driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where signage so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(c) When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation and there is no signage indicating otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
If the pedestrian or bicyclist is not actually in the crosswalk, and there is no traffic signal (traffic light), the motorist must obey any traffic control device (stop or yield sign).
In any event, the pedestrian or bicyclist must not leave a curb or other place of safety and step into the path of a motor vehicle.
(8) No pedestrian (bicyclist) shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.