Speak up for safety of people on bicycles, people on foot

Here’s a chance to improve one of the few Florida laws protecting people riding bicycles. We’re talking about our three-foot law, the one that tells drivers to give someone on a bicycle a three-foot “margin of life” when passing. There’s a move underway to broaden the law to also protect pedestrians, highway workers, and certain others – and to specify a hefty fine for a driver whose failure to pass safely results in someone’s injury. We especially like the effort to prevent deadly right-turn collisions.

We’re talking about the Vulnerable Road User Bill, which has already won committee approval in the Florida House and Senate. Now it’s time to let our local legislators know that we care about this and want it passed.

The bill exists in the House as H253 and in the Senate as S332. Please write or call today to give these bills a boost. This page at the Florida Senate will help you find the man or woman from your district, and give you their phone number, address, and email link.

If you’re in the district of Rep. Jose Oliva, your voice will be especially helpful. Oliva, of Hialeah, chairs the House Economic Affairs Committee, where H253 currently awaits consideration. The committee’s next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 2. 

You might also want to let Rep. Kathleen Passidomo and Sen. Thad Altman know that you appreciate their sponsoring this legislation.  Thanks also to the Florida Bicycle Association, which has been attentive to this for many months and is already thinking of the next logical improvement.

If you want to drill deeper, here’s where to find the most recent text and an analysis of the bill by the Legislature’s expert staff.