It may seem fairly self-explanatory: cars drive on the road and people walk on the sidewalk. However, in between those two clear cut examples lay several possibly confusing situations. Though it is fairly rare to hear about people getting in real trouble for using the sidewalk when they’re not supposed to, knowing the law beforehand can stop you from having to deal with an encounter with the police.
Florida law states that sidewalks may not be used by any vehicle other than those that utilize human power. Put more simply: if it has a motor it probably can’t be used on a sidewalk. Thankfully, though, there some exceptions. First, the law explicitly exempts motorized wheelchairs. Second, because of the way the law is worded, if your scooter or moped dies and you’re pushing it along using your feet, it’s human powered and it’s allowed to be there. Third, although not an explicit exception, it seems safe to assume that a police officer isn’t going to issue a citation to your toddler for riding in a tiny plastic motorized car.
What about bikes?
Bikes are in a unique class since many places have bike lanes and there are laws about what bikers are required to do while riding with traffic. That being said however unless a local ordinance prohibits it, bikers are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Gainesville and Ocala have no ordinances prohibiting bikes on sidewalks.
If you’re a biker that doesn’t feel comfortable on the road or simply prefers riding on the sidewalk, be aware that there are special rules while occupying the sidewalk. Bikers must yield to foot traffic and give audible signals when passing anyone.
If you or a loved one is injured whether as a pedestrian, cyclist or a driver of a vehicle, be sure to get the legal help you deserve by hiring an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Meldon Law have been serving the Gainesville/Ocala area for decades to give our clients the help they need. Contact us today at 800-373-8000 or MeldonLaw.com.
Jeffrey Meldon has written a book “7 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident.” Based on Jeffrey’s over 40 years of experience, this consumer guide will help you get a fair shake from the insurance companies! You can download it for free at MeldonLaw.com or call us at 800-373-8000 and we will send you a free copy!
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Ocala, FL 34471