Where do Traffic Laws Apply?


Richard asked: I have been reading the Florida Statues…I need some clarification by an expert…Do the Florida Laws apply to the sidewalk and paths approved for cycling….A sidewalk an designated blacktop path that runs adjacent to a highway A!A Ocean Drive in Boca Raton….Which is design accommodate bicycle riders…..If a person violated the Law could they receive a ticket on this pathway or sidewalk…or are the violations only enforceable on the roadway….

Some people tell me the roadway includes the sideway and others claim you can only get a ticket if you on the street.


There are laws that control all traffic, which includes motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, among others, on the roadway, the sidewalk and other locations having public access. Your location determines which laws apply to your situation and you can be cited for any violations.

The definition of roadway does not include the paved shoulder unless it is marked as a bike lane.  If the paved shoulder is marked as a bike lane by pavement markings, it is part of the roadway and all roadway laws apply.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(42) Roadway – That portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.

A bicyclist in the roadway has the same rights and duties as other drivers.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle

For example, a cyclist must drive in the same direction as other traffic in the roadway.

Any laws that specify the roadway would not apply to a paved shoulder or a sidewalk, but a cyclist on a paved shoulder must comply with all applicable laws, such as those that require actions at red lights and stop signs.

Other laws apply to a “highway”, which includes the roadway, the sidewalk and the entire right of way to the boundary of the public property.

Bicyclists and other operators of human powered vehicles are permitted on sidewalks unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary. When on a sidewalk, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.

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.

(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

Pedestrians and bicyclists on the sidewalk may proceed in either direction.

A cyclist on the sidewalk is still operating a vehicle and certain other laws apply, such a helmets, lights and DUI.

2 Comments on “Where do Traffic Laws Apply?

  1. Who is at fault if bike coming from rear in bike lane hits car turning into parking space on right with blinker on

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