Bike Lights and Paved Shoulders

Question

Jeremiah asked: I need to ride a bike to work. There is not a sidewalk to ride on along the highway to or from my home and work. Since I have to ride on the shoulder, do I have to ride with the flow of traffic? And to clarify at nite to avoid police, I have to have a light on front of my bike, a red light on the back? If so does the back light have to be red? Or can I use a flashlight in hand?

Answer

A bike lane is part of the roadway.  The paved shoulder is not part of the roadway if it is not marked as a bike lane.

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.

When in the roadway, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as other drivers, which includes driving on the right side of the roadway.

s. 316.081Driving on Right Side of Roadway; Exceptions

(1) Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway ….

A bike lane is part of the roadway.  The paved shoulder is not part of the roadway if it is not marked as a bike lane.

Since the paved shoulder is not part of the roadway there is no requirement to ride with the flow of traffic. However, riding on a paved shoulder against the flow of traffic is not recommended for many reasons.

There are many hazards when cycling against the flow of traffic. One of the most dangerous is that motorists do not expect to see someone coming toward them from the right at intersections, whether on the roadway, shoulder or sidewalk, and many do not even look before pulling out.

At intersections, you will likely have to enter the roadway going the wrong direction, which is not lawful.

You will also not be able to see and obey traffic control devices.

Regarding lighting requirements see this post:

http://flbikelaw.org/2012/08/bicycle-equipment/

Note that the requirement is for lights and reflectors on the bicycle and not on the person.

Posted in Ask Geo, Bicycle Equipment, Rights & Duties
6 comments on “Bike Lights and Paved Shoulders
  1. Keithmj says:

    “Note that the requirement is for lights and reflectors on the bicycle and not on the person.”
    It is a requirement that you need the reflectors and the lights. Both I would say can be anywhere on the front or rear as long as they are there and can be seen. If you do not have room for both you can use the CatEye Reflex Bicycle Front and Rear Safety Lights they have the reflectors made into the light that passes safety standards. I use these on two of my bikes.
    You can also use additional lights on your bike or your helmet but toward the front must be white and toward the rear must be red. I use amber and green under the top bar to light the bikes from the sides.
    I use two lights for the front and two for the rear.

  2. tanner says:

    Ride w flow of traffic , Red light always on back of bike. I recommend a rear view mirror for extra safety. If you glance in mirror and see head light not moving over, a quick exit to shoulder is possible. It has saved me a couple times when motorist texting as they passed me. Not a clue I was on the road.

  3. Mike Andino says:

    Do i need driver’s license to operate a motorized bicycle in fla

    • Keithmj says:

      A Motor is electric so no you don’t. As long as it does not go over 20mph or what ever the laws are for your State. Lots has been posted about this.

    • David Harris says:

      This is for the driver’s license questions. Look it up for yourself the right to travel is everyone’s inalienable right endowed by our Creator you don’t need a licence to travel. Only if you’re making money like delivering pizza or news papers. Thanks Geo for cutting down all questions just made me work harder to find the truth. Also it’s your private vehicle you don’t need to register it either, unless you’re using it to make money. Look in the law dictionary. If you injure a person or damage or steal their property only with due process is that a crime. Nothing else is a crime nothing, You don’t have to pay any tickets unless you’re a member of the LAW society, a lawyer judge government worker etc. If you’re just a common folk their laws don’t apply to you. Check out for yourself. You think court is about guilt or innocence? Think again ignorance is no excuse. Learn what you don’t know, how can a government tell us what to do they work for the people we tell them what to do. God’s the only power over us not people have anyone that thinks they are show you proof of jurisdiction. Court uses fear and intimidation and threat of kidnapping to force the public to go along, not to mention it’s easier to take their offer yes offer none of it is a demand pay attention they only make offers and the fear of what if you don’t. Research. research .research. it’s all out there and not that hard to find. Now top that one Geo’s team. Thank you and keep it real

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