Is a Bicyclist on a Sidewalk a Pedestrian?


SO asked:  I understand that a bicyclist is a pedestrian when on a sidewalk.  Is that correct?


No.  A bicyclist on the sidewalk is not a pedestrian but has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

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 cyclist is operating a vehicle and certain laws are still applicable.  For example, a bicycle operated on a sidewalk after dark must have lights.  

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(7) Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by this section.

A cyclist may not stop on the sidewalk.

316.1945- Stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places

(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:

2. On a sidewalk.

A bicyclist under age 16 must wear a helmet

s. 316.2065– Bicycle Regulations

(3)(d) A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets ….

A bicyclist on the sidewalk can be cited for DUI.

s. 316.193 – Driving under the influence

(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages

It is also unlawful to have an open container while riding a bicycle.

s. 316.1936 – Possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages in vehicles prohibited

(a) “Open container” means any container of alcoholic beverage which is immediately capable of being consumed from, or the seal of which has been broken.

(2)(a) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this section for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle in the state or while a passenger in or on a vehicle being operated in the state.

4 Comments on “Is a Bicyclist on a Sidewalk a Pedestrian?

  1. I noticed something missing, bicyclists are required to warn pedestrians before passing. However, this usually doesn’t work since most pedestrians are wearing headphones or ear buds.

  2. Evan,

    Although there is mention of the “roadway” in the previous sentence, the three foot rule would seem to apply anywhere and not just in the roadway. That may not be realistic in some circumstances such as a four-foot sidewalk.

    s. 316.083 – Overtaking 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 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.

    There is no mention of a location for the headset requirements.
    s. 316.304 – Wearing of Headsets
    (1) No person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing.
    (2) This section does not apply to:
    (d) Any person using a headset in conjunction with a cellular telephone that only provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.

  3. I am a school crossing guard. I want to know if the children need to walk their bikes across the street as well as their skateboards. I am from California and new to Florida law. Thank you.

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