PG asked: I am a biker from Indiana. Am I welcome on this forum or is just for Florida bikers?
Anyone is welcome who is willing to participate in a civil discourse about the Florida Laws related to bicycling. This site is not intended as some blogs seem to be, to complain and stir up dissent and unrest.
We are trying to provide a place for law enforcement and cyclists to discuss some of the problems with cycling, cyclists, the laws and law enforcement, with the hope that we will all gain a better understanding of the roadways as a place for people to share safely and comfortably. Please note the use of the word “people”, and not just “vehicles”, and consider the problems of the roadways in that sense.
The site is not intended to discuss safe cycling practices, but we will sometimes do so to show the correlation between the laws and those practices.
If it appears the comments are sometimes critical, we won’t avoid them, but will try to find the lesson that will help us all with a better understanding of the laws. Together, we will try to learn from our mistakes.
That applies to those of us who are providing the information here. We welcome any constructive criticism of the materials on the site. There is little case law to help us, and we are giving the best information available. If anyone has formal legal opinions or case law that applies to the Q&A here, please share them. Please phrase any contradictions in the terms of the statutes.
This site is a partnership of cycling professionals and officers who want to help make a change in the roadway environment.
Some officers receive little of no formal training about bicycling. If they are not cyclists, they may not understand why cyclists do what they do. We will help law enforcement fully understand what causes cycling casualties, and encourage them to strictly enforce the laws that are intended to eliminate unsafe and unlawful cycling actions. Those problems mar the reputation of the rest of us who are trying to comply. We will also help them understand the impact of misunderstanding the statutes and incorrect actions regarding cycling.
We also want cyclists to fully understand the laws and the circumstances that cause the excessive crashes, injuries and deaths. Many feel they are not required to comply with the laws or don’t understand safe cycling practices. The person who runs a red light gives us all a bad reputation, since most non-cyclists don’t distinguish between cyclists. We are all the same to them.
If cyclists and law enforcement professionals in other states can gain by contributing to this site, please join us. Understand though, that the laws of different states may differ from Florida. They are however, derived from the Uniform Vehicle Code, and may have similarities. Some are identical. Please make that distinction in your state. If your state has a better solution to a common problem, please let us know.
The traffic laws in Florida are sometimes difficult and ambiguous. Through a thorough airing of the problems, in the context of understanding the actual statutes, all participating in this dance will become better partners. The result of that can only be a better quality of life for everyone.