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People On Bikes

Knowing the Rules of the Road: Tips Before You Jump On Your Bike

Whether you’re a first-time cyclist or an everyday commuter, it’s important to know the laws and how to stay safe while bicycling. As part of Florida Bike Month, we wanted to share some tips to help you hit the streets safely!

Where you ride your bike matters:

  • In the state of Florida, bicycles have the same rights as cars on the road.
  • Cyclists, therefore, are required to obey all traffic laws while riding in the street, including: red lights, stop signs, use of lights at night, etc.
  • Bicyclists on the sidewalk are legally considered “pedestrians,” and must follow all pedestrian laws.

Tell drivers what you’re doing:

  • Brush up on your cycling hand signals: left hand out for left turn, left hand up for right turn, left hand down for stopping.
  • When it’s time to turn, first scan the traffic around you, then use hand signals to communicate with drivers.
  • When it’s safe, go to the center of the lane, then make your turn.

Use the proper gear:

  • Make sure you’re wearing a properly fitted helmet, and don’t forget to check the expiration date.
  • Equip your bike with lamps on the front and back.
  • No wearing headphones or earbuds! It’s illegal and can distract you, leaving you unaware of traffic around you (hearing aids are okay).

Getting to know the ins-and-outs of riding on the roads, sidewalks and trails around town may seem complicated at first, but once you know the basics; you’ll be riding like a pro in no time.

For further information, check out Florida’s full set of cycling laws, then go out and celebrate Florida Bike Month!

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