When riding your bicycle, you have the same rights and rules to the road in some cases as cars do. So, why don't you have to prove your understanding of these rules?

James Hensley writes in this week:

If, in Florida, bikes are considered by law to be vehicles, why don't they have to buy license plates and have insurance like I do for my car?

The simple answer is that bicyclists are not required to have a driver's licenses because they are not operating a motor vehicle.

Sgt. Kim Montes, of the Florida Highway Patrol, said "licenses are for vehicles that are basically gas-powered and meet certain other criteria. However, a bicyclist has to follow all the rules that a vehicle would follow."

Those rules include some of the basics, like stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night and yielding to the right-of-way when entering a roadway.

A bicycle is actually defined legally as every vehicle propelled solely by human power, having two tandem wheels and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels.

Although a driver's license or other identification is not required to operate a bicycle on the roadway or sidewalk, carrying identification is recommended since you might be required to identify yourself to law enforcement in case of a violation, collision or other incident.

Montes said she has seen her fair share of traffic incidents that involve bicycles, adding: "A bicyclist can still get into some pretty serious crashes. They can get up to some pretty good speeds, too. On certain roadways with certain types of bicycles with certain riders, those bicycles can go pretty fast. So, that's why they are required to follow the rules of the vehicles. But they are not required to have a license."

It should be noted that some electric bicycles are actually legal to use without a license, as well. In fact, the Florida Highway Patrol has the chart below on what is legal and what is illegal.