Living in Florida gives us the advantage of weather that allows us to walk and ride bikes year round. Being outside, walking or biking has some risk, as we share the roads with vehicles.
Here are some tips for safe walking and biking.
- Make sure all equipment on the bicycle is in working order (brakes, gears, tires, etc.). Also is the appropriate size for the rider.
- All bicycle riders and passengers under age 16 are required by Florida Law to wear a helmet. Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the strap.
- Wear appropriate shoes (such as sneakers). Avoid wearing flip-flops or riding barefoot.
- Be seen. Whether walking or riding, wear neon or fluorescent or bright colors when riding and wear something that reflects light (reflective shoes, reflective tape, etc.).
- Pay attention. Do not wear headphones so that you can hear the traffic and pedestrians around you. Keep the cell phone stowed away.
- With vehicle traffic,
Bikes: Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible.
Use bike lanes whenever you can.
Pedestrians: Always walk on the sidewalk if there is one.
If no sidewalks are present, walk against the direction of traffic so that
you can see oncoming vehicles.
- Obey all traffic laws, including signs, signals and lane markings, when riding on the roadway. If crossing a roadway upon or along a crosswalk, abide by pedestrian crossing guidelines.
- Never attach yourself or your bike to any vehicle on a roadway.
- If riding between the hours of sunset and sunrise, Florida Law requires that the front of the bike be equipped with a headlight lamp which exhibits a white light visible for 500 feet, and the rear of the bike equipped with a taillight lamp and reflector visible for 600 feet.
- Cross at intersections and never pull out into the roadway from between parked cars.
- If riding a bike on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk, yield to pedestrians and give them an audible signal (such as, “passing on your left”) before overtaking and passing them.
- Pedestrians…use crosswalks where available and follow signs and signals. Always keep an eye out for vehicles – they may not be able to see you.
- IMPORTANT. Pedestrians ONLY have the right of way when in a designated crosswalk. If no crosswalk is present, vehicles have the right of way.
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