Sharing the road means sharing responsibility for the safety of drivers and bicyclists alike. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind all residents and visitors to follow the rules of the road when traveling. Reviewing the basic laws and remaining cautious behind the wheel – and handle bars – helps keep Collier County a great place and a safe place. Bicycle Safety: It’s a 2-Way Street.

The most common factor in bicycle vs. vehicle crashes here in Collier County is when a motor vehicle fails to yield to the right-of-way. Over the past three years, that was the leading cause of crashes, responsible for 33 percent. By comparison, just nine percent of crashes were the fault of the bicyclist. The hours of 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. saw the most crashes. Just five percent of bicycle crashes involved alcohol while 33 percent involved some form of distraction either on the part of the bicyclist or driver.

For a complete list, please see state Statute Section 316.2065, which spells out bicycle regulations.

In Florida, state statute defines bicycles as vehicles. That means bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists when it comes to using the roadway. Bicyclists using the roads should stick to the bike lanes whenever possible. If a bicyclist is using the sidewalk, they must follow the rules set forth by state statute for pedestrians.

For more information on Collier County initiatives, events and safety tips, please visit www.colliergov.net.