Drivers and cyclists both need to be aware of the rules of the road to ensure positive interaction and a safe roadway. Bicycles are vehicles and need to be treated as such. Cyclists are seen riding in groups often and with more cyclists on the road, the rules regarding riding in groups and two abreast should be clarified.
Florida Statute 316.2065-6 states that “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.”
Florida law allows bicyclists to travel two-abreast, as long as doing so does not “impede” traffic. “Impeding traffic” is not defined in the law, but slowing down a motorist’s for a short while until it is safe to pass is not an impediment or an obstruction. “Impeding traffic” is only stated in bicycle law when regarding to riding two abreast.
On “substandard width” roads, a single bicyclist is allowed to ride in the middle of the lane, so the presence of another bicyclist to their right is of little consequence. Riding abreast in cases of large groups of cyclists can actually facilitate overtaking by reducing in half the distance needed to pass.
Regardless of the presence of a bicycle lane and the width of the lane, two-abreast riders do not impede traffic if:
- on a multi-lane road
- on a road with a center two-way left turn lane in which motorists can pass
- there is sparse oncoming traffic and motorists can safely use the oncoming lane to pass
- the cyclists are traveling at or near the speed limit
- the cyclists are traveling at or near the speed of traffic
If you’ve been injured in a bike crash and want to find out if you have a claim, call Jim Dodson Law at 888-207-0905 and schedule a free case review to get the answers you need. If you or someone you know was hurt in a bicycle accident and you’re simply looking for information, request a complimentary copy of the Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook. Jim is a cyclist himself, and has been helping Florida accident victims recover money for their damages for more than 25 years.