Crosswalks, Driveways and Bicycles
Guillermo asked: I made a right turn into commercial shopping area and out of nowhere an officer on a bike on the sidewalk almost hit my car. He said I was not looking for pedestrians’ right of way. In reality, I did not see him. Who is at fault on this situation?
Bicyclists on the sidewalk have the same rights and duties as pedestrians.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(10) 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.
If the driver is crossing a sidewalk while entering the roadway from a driveway, there is a specific statute that requires the driver to yield to pedestrians (bicyclists) on the sidewalk.
s. 316.125 – Vehicle Entering Highway from Private Road or Driveway or Emerging from Alley, Driveway or Building
(2) The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon and shall yield to all vehicles and pedestrians which are so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
See this previous post:
The statutes about drivers crossing a sidewalk while entering a driveway from another roadway are less specific, but also require drivers to yield to pedestrians (bicyclists) on the sidewalk or crosswalk.
A crosswalk can be marked or unmarked, and is the connection of the sidewalk across the roadway, which in this case is the driveway.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.
(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians (bicyclists) in or approaching a crosswalk.
s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations
(7)(c) When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation and there is no signage indicating otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
Additionally, there are two statutes that require due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians or bicyclists.
s. 316.130 – Pedestrian; Traffic Regulations
(15) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle ….
s. 316.185 – Special Hazards
The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prescribed limits shall not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed …. when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or other roadway conditions, and speed shall be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the street in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.