How to Bike in Panama City

Florida bicyclists have as much a right to the road as other drivers. Florida laws view bicycles as vehicles. Both bike riders and car drivers must follow the rules of the road. Even the smallest oversight in road rules can cause catastrophic accidents, particularly because bicycles do not have the same steel protection as cars do. At The Pittman Firm, P.A., we advocate for cycler safety across the state. Here we offer common bike riding practices in Panama City to help keep the roads safe.

The Basics

Under Section 316.2065 of Florida’s bicycle laws, all riders must adhere to basic rules. The statutes articulate the following guidelines:

  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and controls.
  • Bicyclists must ride a bike with a fixed, regular seat.
  • The number of passengers and riders cannot exceed capacity listed on the bike.
  • At least one had must remain on the handlebars at all times.
  • The bicycle must have brakes that can stop the vehicle within 25 feet.

Sharing the Road

Bike riders and car drivers are responsible for sharing the road. Although the state considers bicycles vehicles like cars, there are certain stipulations cyclists must abide by.

Ways to share the road include:

  • In general, bikers should ride as close to the right-hand curb or edge of the road. (There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as when a ride needs to make a left, when it is unsafe to ride on the right, etc.).
  • If the bike drivers two abreast, the cyclers must stay in a single lane and must not impede traffic.
  • If bikers drive on a one-way street that has at least two lanes, they can ride as close to the left-hand edge of the road.
  • More than two abreast riding is not allowed outside of designated pathways.

How to signal and turn:

  • Left turn signal – Riders should extend their left arms horizontally to the left of the bike.
  • Right turn signal – Riders should either extend their left harm upward or put out their right hand horizontally on the right side of the bike.
  • For turns –Scan for traffic, signal, move to the appropriate side of the lane, and turn carefully.

Visibility

In order for bike riders to remain safe on the roads, it is important that other drivers see them. Florida Statute 316.2065(7) expresses certain lighting requirements for bicyclists.

These lighting guidelines must be obeyed between dusk and dawn:

  • A lamp on the front of the bike that projects a white light at least 500 feet away.
  • A lamp on the rear end of the bike that projects a red light at least 600 feet away.
  • A red reflector on the rear of the bike.

We understand that even when you follow all the safety rules about sharing the road, others do not. This can lead to awful accidents. If you or a loved one suffered painful injuries because of another’s negligent driving or inattention, you may have grounds to seek compensation. Contact our Panama City bicycle accident attorneys for a free consultation today.

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