An Alachua County man was struck and critically inured by a roofing truck while riding his bicycle in Gainesville Wednesday morning. The 27 year-old male from Dunnellon, was riding on the right side of 441 just south of NW 34th Street when he was hit. The driver of the roofing truck was heading in the same direction on 441 and drifted to the right, according to the Gainesville Police Department. Charges are pending an investigation.
In Florida the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and the bicyclist is a driver. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways, and must obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles. These laws include stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway and other laws.
Florida requires that a bicyclist, traveling at a speed less than the speed of traffic, must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway except under any of the following circumstances: when overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; when reasonably necessary to avoid any unsafe condition or potential conflict, including one caused by a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane; or when a bicycle lane is available. (Source: Fla. Stat. §316.2065(5) )
When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share safely, the cyclist is entitled to the use of the entire lane. Within this lane, the cyclist usually rides on the right half to facilitate visibility for overtaking motorists, but should ride far enough left to discourage motorists from trying to squeeze past within the lane.