Coming of Jupiter Island I had a motorist yell “You have to ride to the right of the white line!” The attached photo is approximately where he yelled at me. I explained to the driver that it was not the law in Florida, but he insisted it was. I would like to review the driver’s comments and go over some Florida bike law basics
In Florida, you can find everything you need to know about Florida Bike Law in Florida Statutes 316.2065. In regards, to where someone needs to ride on the roadway, see below:
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
(6) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and shall ride within a single lane.
Despite the driver’s insistence, it is clear he was mistaken. Additionally, as one can see from the photo, it is evident that riding on the right side of the white line would put riders in the grass. Hypothetically, lets say their was a bike lane, Florida Law (see above) allows cyclists to deviate from the bike lane if obstructed by: “fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane.”
I do not encourage you to get into a legal debate with drivers, they generally will not listen. Many drivers in Florida do not know the law, but educating yourself will allow you to educate people when the opportunity arises.
Be safe on the road!
Jeff aka Vivocyclingattorney