The 2021 Florida Legislature is taking action to improve cycling safety in our beautiful state. The new bicycle laws recognize the growing concern about bicycle safety in Florida. They clarify cycling rights and give guidance to cyclists and motorists alike. Lesser, Lesser, Landy, & Smith regularly reviews vehicle and cycling laws and is considered a top resource for cyclists statewide.
On June 29, 2021, the governor signed this new law which impacts our bicycling community. This new legislation applies to both traditional and electric bicycles. The bill known as “The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Bill” is over eight (8) pages long, but the pertinent provisions provide the following:
- The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle or an electric bicycle occupying the same travel lane must pass at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet or, if such movement cannot be safely accomplished, must remain at a safe distance behind until the driver can safely pass at a distance of not less than 3 feet.
- The DMV is now required to provide an annual awareness and safety campaign informing the public about the safety precautions to be taken when overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle or an electric bicycle.
- It makes an exception to “no passing” zones to allow automobile drivers to temporarily cross the center line in a “no passing zone” in order to briefly and safely pass a cyclist.
- It requires a vehicle making a right turn while overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, to do so only if the bicycle is at least 20 feet from the intersection and is of such a distance that the driver of the vehicle can safely turn.
- It gives guidance and allowance for a cyclist to have full use of the lane when making a left turn.
- Provides that cyclists may now ride two abreast on bicycle lanes if both are able to remain within the bicycle lane.
- It allows cyclists travelling in groups to proceed in groups of ten (10) through stop signs (after a full stop). It also requires motorists to allow groups of ten to pass through together.
- It requires the automobile driver’s license test to include at least 25 questions that address bicycle and pedestrian safety.
- Any person who violates this section commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation.
These new laws are a step in the right direction towards safety for cyclists and drivers alike.
The lawyers of Lesser, Lesser, Landy, & Smith, PLLC have been representing injured cyclists for over 95 years. Attorney Chuck Geary is a lifelong cyclist who practices bicycle accident law with the firm. Mr. Geary personally cycles all over the state and is available to speak to you or your cycling group at any time. If you were injured in a cycling accident, our firm is 24/7 at 772-283-6839. Call any time.