I’m a transportation safety & crash investigator for the USDOT. I was a State Trooper for 10 years and I know what State Statute 316 has to say about cyclists sharing the road.
I have two sons, 10 & 15 who are cycling enthusiasts.
When I’m not on the bike I’m doing what single dads do best: laundry and homework. Non-bike weekends mean kayaking, camping, or going to the beach. My goals for the next year are to buy my own home and get in better shape.
I know the risks of cycling, and my 15yr old has first-hand experience with the business end of an inattentive driver’s sedan. Fortunately he was uninjured. The closest I’ve come is getting buzzed by a BMW in Fort Lauderdale. No argument from me at the next light, however, I’d rather not get shot.
- Sharing the road also means ME giving cars room to get by and
- no one will want to read Statute 316 at my funeral.
Some people ask, “Why don’t I just ride sidewalks instead?” Several reasons:
- Traffic doesn’t have to stop at a sidewalk crossing, so I’m more likely to get hit.
- People and pets use sidewalks. Kind of hard to pass them and walkers don’t like that.
- Sidewalks are rough as hell and usually slippery with mud, mold, leaves and sticks.
- Most unknown fact about sidewalks: In many cities it’s illegal (Orlando for instance.)
- Orlando allows bikes on some sidewalks, but it must be marked.
- Also, sidewalks that do allow cyclists have speed limits.
- Orlando allows 12mph. Orange County allows 15mph on trails and “multi-use” sidewalks.
Florida statute 316.2065 says I have the right to ride on the road. With that being said, I will not hide behind a law that you may disagree with because it won’t prevent me from getting run over. I will do my part to stay out of your way because I will not win.
In the end, motorists and cyclists alike should:
- Read the statute.
- Be vigilant.
- Respect one another.
… and when you witness “an infraction”, cool your jets. No one follows the law to a tee: rolling through stop signs, failing to use turn signals, speeding, etc. Don’t flip your stuff when a bicycle rolls through an intersection and I won’t yell at you when you forget to signal.
Mark is a member of our USA Cycling club. We thank him for his lesson in “mutual respect.”