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When riding on a street or highway, bicycles are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles. Before riding a bicycle, you should be aware of those rules and laws.
One law often violated by bicyclists is riding the wrong way on a one way street. Under Florida law, directional signs on streets must be complied with by both motorized and by pedal powered vehicles.
Bicyclists must also obey other traffic signs and lights. A bicycle must come to a full stop at stop signs, and must stop at red lights until the light turns green. When a bicyclist is stopped at a stop sign or traffic light, he or she must wait in line with all the other vehicles that are stopped. Passing cars on the right hand side and riding to the front of the line is against the law.
Bicycles, like cars, must yield the right of way to pedestrians in cross walks. If a bicyclist rides on the side walk, he or she must yield to pedestrians, and must give an audible warning signal when approaching from behind.
Two people may not ride on a bicycle, unless the bike is made to carry two people. An adult may carry a small child in a backpack or sling or in a child seat properly fixed to the frame of the bicycle.
After sunset, a bicyclist is required to have a white headlight on the front, visible from a distance of 500 feet. The bicycle must also have a red taillight or reflector visible from 600 feet away. Hand held flashlights do not count as headlights under the law.
Wear that Bike Helmet!
The Sheriffs Office would like to remind you that beginning January 1st, 1998 law enforcement officers in Monroe County started issuing non moving traffic citations to bicycle riders and passengers under 16 years of age who are not wearing properly fitted and secured bicycle helmets meeting nationally recognized standards. This includes children riding in a trailer or semi-trailer attached to a bicycle. The fine for this violation is $23.00.
The new law also prohibits a bicycle from carrying more people than it was designed to carry. Passengers under four years old, weighing 40 pounds or less, must be secured in a carrier designed to hold a child that age and size to protect the child from moving.
Some other points to remember while riding a bike: