Florida, known for its vibrant culture and scenic landscapes, is unfortunately also recognized for some of the most dangerous roads in the country. Every year, countless lives are affected by crashes on the roads, leaving families shattered and communities grieving. As we observe the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, it’s essential to reflect on the impact these tragedies have had on our lives and reaffirm our commitment to road safety.
A group of bicyclists are riding two abreast on a typical Florida road one Saturday morning. A driver, irritated by the riders slowing him by a few seconds, accelerates to get around the group. The driver keeps close to the group as other drivers approach in the opposite direction. The driver hits the riders on the inside line, injuring some and killing others in the crash. A proposed Florida law would deny these bicyclists and their families any justice.
Bills protecting Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) were again filed this 2022 Florida Legislative Session, which started on January 11. You’ll remember there were prior unsuccessful attempts in 2019 and 2020.
As the popularity of electric bicycles, or e-bikes, continues to grow in Florida and the US, so will the likelihood of crashes with drivers increase to perhaps the same levels we see with riders of conventional bicycles. So what protections do e-bike riders have? What are their rights and obligations? What are their options if they are injured in a crash?
There are some big changes effecting Florida bicyclists starting July 1, 2021. On June 29, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 950, addressing bicycle and pedestrian safety, into law. I wrote about the initial version of this bill back in March when it was introduced in the Senate, along with its companion bill in the House. The bill was modified as it travelled through committees for its final votes, passing both the Senate and House. Here is what the final version will now mean for Floridians.
Beginning July 1, 2020, Florida will join more than 20 other states that have a dedicated law for electric bicycles, or e-bikes. The new law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, also addresses some other much needed changes, such as legally classifying recumbent bicycles as bicycles.
Every Martin Luther King Jr. Day I stop for a few minutes and re-read his Letter from Birmingham Jail. I like to reflect on MLK’s passion, his ideas and beliefs, and his conviction for the protection and expansion of civil rights for all. Once I came across the picture below of MLK riding his bike in a suit, with his briefcase attached and seemingly going to work, and I began to think of how the bicycle movement relates to the cause for civil rights.
Time and again, I hear people ask me why cyclists are in the road and if they are even allowed to ride there. I’ve personally had many yell at me while riding telling me to get out of the road. So, what are the rules of the road when it comes to cyclists?
It’s been a little over 24 hours since a car plowed through a group of 15 cyclists from Cycling Family Broward in Davie, Florida. One cyclist, wife and mother of two Denise Marsh, was killed. As of the time of writing this, another 6 cyclists are injured with one in critical condition. To say the South Florida cycling community is devastated is an understatement.
Colorado joined Idaho and Delaware in passing legislation that would allow cyclists the option of making an “Idaho Stop” at intersections. But what’s an “Idaho Stop?”