New Florida Law Emphasizes Cyclist Safety
In 2019, 846 bicyclists died in the U.S. based on the most recent NHTSA stats. Bicycle accidents and deaths are, unfortunately common, particularly in certain parts of the U.S., such as Florida, which is one of the most dangerous states for biking.
A new bicycle safety law in Florida could theoretically address this issue. Gov. DeSantis signed into law the CS/SB 950 last July 1 to provide greater protections for pedestrians and bicyclists in the state.
A Quick Guide to The CS/SB 950 Law
The following are important updates and changes added to the existing provisions by the CS/SB 950 law:
- Motorists could cross center lanes in no-passing zones to pass cyclists safely. This makes it legal for motorists to safely and briefly cross center lanes in no-passing zones and pass cyclists by three feet. This is crucial because previously, motorists were confused as to whether they could cross double yellow lines and pass cyclists. Now, the law is clear that they should, instead of passing cyclists within three feet, which could be dangerous.
- All motorists must follow the three feet-passing law. In case motorists aren’t able to give three feet when passing, they must stay behind cyclists until it’s possible to pass them from three feet away.
- Bicyclists must always utilize the left lane before turning left. This clarifies that all bicyclists must utilize the left lane on the road before trying to turn left at intersections.
- Motorists can’t turn right in front of bicyclists within 20 feet at intersections. All motorists traveling in the same direction as other bicyclists must not turn right if there’s a cyclist within 20 feet of an intersection. This could help prevent the occurrence of right hook collisions by bicyclists.
- Bicyclists riding in groups must cross stop sign-controlled intersections in groups of 10 riders or less. This could help prevent multiple bicycle accidents for bicyclists who enjoy group rides. According to the law, a group of not more than 10 bicyclists could proceed through intersections after coming to a full stop. Motor vehicle drivers must enable the group of bicyclists to pass through the intersection before they can move forward.
- The driver’s license test must now include a minimum of 25 questions that address the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
It has only been a couple of months since the passing of the CS/SB 950 law. This means that it might take a few more months to determine its effectiveness with regards to preventing and reducing pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths.
Seek Legal Guidance From an Experienced Sarasota Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Getting hurt in a bicycle accident in Sarasota could leave you with serious injuries, mounting medical expenses, and other related damages. Our Sarasota bicycle accident lawyer at Matthews Injury Law can make sure that the negligent party that caused you harm will be held accountable for your losses and compensation. Set up your free consultation with our Sarasota bicycle accident lawyer by calling 941-877-5800 and completing our online contact form.