Laws Applicable to Bicycles

Question

Mike asked:  Given the law defines a bicycle as a road vehicle and its operator as a driver, do the same equipment standards (per FL DMV Handbook or perhaps, FL statue) apply to bicycles. It seems to me it would in order to maintain a basic level of safe bicycle operation since bicyclists often ride with others, much like motor vehicles/drivers do when traveling in general purpose traffic lanes.

Answer

Bicycles are vehicles and the operators must comply with all laws applicable to vehicles.

Bicycles are not motor vehicles and are not governed by laws applicable only to motor vehicles.  For example:

s. 316.222 – Stop Lamps and Turn Signals

(1) Every motor vehicle …. shall be equipped with two or more stop lamps

Laws specific to bicycles are delineated in the Bicycle Regulations.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(2) A person operating a bicycle may not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

(3)(a) A bicycle may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped, except that an adult rider may carry a child securely attached to his or her person in a backpack or sling.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), a bicycle rider must carry any passenger who is a child under 4 years of age, or who weighs 40 pounds or less, in a seat or carrier that is designed to carry a child of that age or size and that secures and protects the child from the moving parts of the bicycle.

(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, final rule, 16 C.F.R. part 1203. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.

(4) No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle may attach the same or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway. This subsection does not prohibit attaching a bicycle trailer or bicycle semitrailer to a bicycle if that trailer or semitrailer is commercially available and has been designed for such attachment.

(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.

Differences for electric bicycles are in s. 316.20655 – Electric Bicycles

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