When the weather is nice, riding a bicycle can be a fun activity in Florida. However, many times bicyclists fail to obey the law or do not know the laws pertaining to legally riding a bike on roadways. This puts riders, pedestrians and those in vehicles at risk of accidents. Knowing and obeying the law is essential to staying safe and being able to teach children how to safely ride.
The Florida Statutes explain that in general, bicycles must follow all the same rules as motor vehicles. However, there are some specific rules you need to know that apply only to bikes.
To begin with, it is important that you prepare for riding. If you will ride after dusk or before dawn, you need to equip your bicycle with a white headlight and red rear light. It also must have a rear reflector. If you are under the age of 16, you must wear a helmet when riding.
If you will carry passengers, you need to make sure your bike is set up for that. In general, you cannot have more than one person on a bicycle unless it is specifically designed for multiple riders. However, if you do want to carry a passenger under the age of four or who weighs less than 40 pounds, you may do so as long as you have attached a proper safety seat.
As you begin your ride, keep in mind that you must use the bicycle lane when one is available. Otherwise, you should ride as close to the right side of the road as possible. If you are on a one-way street, you should ride as close to the left side of the road as possible. You should never ride on sidewalks.
Keep in mind that as a parent, you are responsible to ensure your child knows and follows these laws. This information is for education and is not legal advice.