Bicycles on the Shoulder
Tim asked: It’s clear that if a cyclist is on the roadway they must operate as a vehicle and obey all traffic control devices. However, if a cyclist is traveling outside of the roadway, on a paved shoulder, is the cyclist required to come to a stop at a stop sign or red light when making a right turn?
Good question, Tim. At first, I thought it was simple, but not after getting into it.
First the two applicable statutes:
FS 316.123 – Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection
(2)(a) …. every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop …. before entering the intersection.
FS 316.075 – Traffic Control Signals
(c) Steady red indication
(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal shall stop …. before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown; however:
a. The driver of a vehicle which is stopped …. in obedience to a steady red signal may make a right turn, but shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic ….
The statutes refer to a driver entering or approaching an intersection, and do not indicate whether the vehicle is on the shoulder or in the roadway.
Both statutes give details about where the driver must stop, but they are not applicable to this question. Both say the driver must stop before entering the intersection.
We need to define “intersection”. I will use wording of the statute that gives us the most liberal interpretation of the definition. Some may not agree, but considering that our paramount concern is always safety, I am most comfortable with that approach.
FS 316.003 – Definitions
(a) …. the area within which vehicles traveling on different highways …. may come into conflict.
Now we need to define “highway”.
(53) – Street or Highway
(a) The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic ….
To summarize, a bicyclist (driver of a vehicle) riding on the shoulder (entering or approaching an intersection) must stop at a stop sign or red light before entering the intersection.