The Rules of the Road for Cyclists: An Overview of Important Bicycle Laws in Boca Raton, FL

November 20, 2019 7:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are plenty of people in the state of Florida who use their bicycle as their primary means of transportation. Whether you spend a lot of time on your bike out on the roads or just do it every now and then for fun, it’s important you understand the rules of the road and how they affect cyclists.

Here’s a quick overview of some important bicycle laws in Boca Raton, FL.

Equal rights and rules with other vehicles

Bicycles are considered vehicles in the state of Florida, the same as cars, trucks and buses, even though they do not have any sort of motor. This means bicyclists are subject to most of the same rules and rights on the roadways as motorists are, and therefore should be able to expect other drivers to exercise appropriate caution and safety when driving in their presence.

Here are just a few examples of some of the rules that bicycle riders must follow:

  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and controls, just as motorists are required to do.
  • All bicycles should have a fixed standard seat upon which the cyclist will ride.
  • Cyclists should know and use all of the proper hand signals to indicate they are turning.
  • Adults should teach children all of these rules and make sure they follow them.
  • Brakes on bicycles should be capable of bringing the bike to a stop within 25 feet while traveling at 10 miles per hour when the surface is dry, level and clean.
  • Bicycles are allowed to have no more passengers than the number for which the bike was designed.
  • All cyclists must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times while on the road.
  • All bicycles should be outfitted with the proper safety lamps and reflectors (front and rear).
  • Cyclists should ride as close to the right curb as is feasible, except when passing, turning left or traveling at the same speed as traffic. Exceptions also exist if there are hazards in the road that the cyclist must avoid.

There are some states in which cycling on the sidewalk is forbidden for people over a certain age, but it is legal to do so in Florida. However, while on the sidewalk, a cyclist is legally considered a pedestrian, and must yield the right of way to other pedestrians. In addition, some city governments may make sidewalk cycling illegal, so it is important to know the rules in your specific area.

Cyclists are also not allowed to use earbuds or headphones while riding their bikes to listen to music or phone conversations. These audio distractions can hamper a cyclist’s situational awareness and make accidents resulting from that distraction more likely to occur. Keep the earbuds in your pocket or backpack.

To learn more about the various bicycle laws in Boca Raton, FL that apply to cyclists throughout the state of Florida, we encourage you to contact a bicycle shop like Bicycle Doctor House Calls with your questions. We look forward to helping you understand how to ride safely!

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