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Sheriff’s office offers bicycle safety advice 

March 28, 2024
By Staff Report


It’s the height of tourist season in Florida and our beautiful spring weather lends itself to outdoor activities like bicycle riding along the streets of Boca Grande. There are, however, important safety considerations for anyone wishing to get around via bicycle.

Safety first! All bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet. This includes passengers -like small children-riding with adults on the bicycle, or being towed in a trailer.

Bike riders must obey all traffic controls and signals like red lights and stop signs. That one seems kind of obvious, but a friendly reminder is helpful. When riding on sidewalks or crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same duties and responsibilities as a pedestrian but it requires even more. Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.

Another area of emphasis is lighting. A bicycle operated at sunset or later must be equipped with a front light exhibiting a white light visible from 500 feet. In addition to having a red reflector, a rear light must emit red light visible from 600 feet to the rear. Extra lighting is both permitted and recommended.

Advances in technology mean LED lighting is more affordable than ever. These lights can last for many hours on a single charge (especially in flash or low power modes) and local shops would be doing the community a service by keeping some of these lights on hand to give to cyclists that may not have proper illumination.

Roadway position is also very important. A bicyclist not traveling at the same speed as other traffic must ride in a designated bike lane or as close as is practical to the right-side curb. When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and car to share safely, a cyclist is entitled to use of the entire lane.

Those are a few of the factors that can make bicycling in and around Boca Grande safer and more fun. Common sense also plays a role; sometimes it helps to think like a motorist. Am I visible to traffic? Can passing vehicles see my lights? Am I making sure I don’t veer into the middle of a roadway? Am I obeying traffic signals and signs? Am I wearing a helmet?

“Yes” answers to those questions will help ensure an enjoyable adventure for cyclists and motorists in our little slice of paradise.

At the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, we hope your time in Boca Grande is a great experience. We want you to have fun, be safe, and collect cherished memories of your visit.