On Your Left

Question

Al asked: I ride my bicycle for exercise and wondering if you are going to be passed by another bicycle if they should give some sort of warning. Lately I have been passed by guys in full battle gear but no warning at all. I am 77 years old and I may waiver from time to time. Isn’t this dangerous? If I waiver while someone is passing me we could probably both hit the ground and I know who would be hurt the worst. I know when I was walking and trying to pass another walker I would yell “on your left” so they would know someone was coming behind them. I would think the bikes should do this do.

Answer

A bicyclist passing a pedestrian on a sidewalk is required to give an audible signal.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

It is considered good etiquette for a cyclist to announce “On your left” or a similar notice when overtaking a another bicyclist but it is not required. The overtaking cyclist must pass at a safe distance and no less than three feet.

The only mention of an audible signal by a driver relates to the action required by the overtaken driver if an audible signal or flashing lights at night is given by an overtaking driver.

s. 316.083Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle

The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:

(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an appropriate signal as provided for in s. 316.156, (Hand signal or turn indicator light) shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.

(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on audible signal or upon the visible blinking of the headlamps of the overtaking vehicle if such overtaking is being attempted at nighttime, and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Posted in Ask Geo, Overtaking & Passing

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