CAPE CORAL, Fla., - A Cape Coral cyclist cited for riding in the middle of the road claims he chose the safest option he could.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers pulled over Robert Sciolino, 58, on Cultural Park Blvd Thursday and cited him for failing to ride on the right side of the curb.
The road does not have a bike lane.
Sciolino says he was riding in the middle of the lane like he’s been doing for years without incident.
He says he rides in the middle instead of the right hand side for his safety.
“When you’re on the edge, bicycles aren’t noticed until the last minute. I have not gotten one close call riding in the middle of the lane,” Sciolino said. “When I used to ride on the edge I had 4 or 5 close calls a week, and my life is not worth a close call with a 4,000 pound vehicle.”
According to Florida Statute 316.2065:
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
Sciolino says the third exception should exempt him from the $113 ticket.
FHP says the lane where Sciolino was stopped is standard width, not the substandard width lane the statute references.
Sciolino plans to fight the ticket in court.