Motorcycles Passing Bicycles?


Kathryn asked: Does someone on a motorcycle have to give a cyclist 3 feet like cars do? Also is the state’s 3 foot law applicable on a military base?


Drivers of all vehicles, which includes motorcycles, other motor vehicles and bicycles, must pass at a safe distance that is not less than three feet from a bicyclist.

s. 316.083Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle

(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction …. 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.

However, as strange as it may seem, only motorcycle drivers must entirely change lanes when passing another vehicle, including a bicycle.

s. 316.209Operating Motorcycles on Roadways Laned for Traffic

(2) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

Whether state laws apply to federal property is beyond the scope of this site. I am aware of one situation in which there is an agreement for local police to enforce local and state laws on federal property.  I am also aware of military police enforcing state traffic laws on a military base.

1 Comment on “Motorcycles Passing Bicycles?

  1. I have had more close passes from jerks on motorcycles than cars. The Harley riders love to give you a blast of their loud exhaust to show how manly they are too.

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