Who Can Use This Site?

Question

PG asked:  I am a biker from Indiana. Am I welcome on this forum or is just for Florida bikers?

Answer

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.

Posted in Ask Geo, Misc Tagged with:
4 comments on “Who Can Use This Site?
  1. Every safety bicycle safety expert agrees that directional signals on bicycles
    would save countless lives and thousands of injuries.

    A goof friend died last year having been hit by a car.
    The use of directional signals would have saved his life.

    Lets wake up folks.

  2. Tom Bartsch says:

    This is what they need to do… simple and cheap.
    1) Give the pavement alongside biking lanes the grooves they put along the interstate.
    2) Have cyclists travel in the opposite direction of traffic – it would alow the cycler to see oncoming traffic as well as reduce the time it takes to pass a cyclist in a motor vehicle.
    Do this and I guarantee the casualty rate will go down.

  3. Geo says:

    Rumble strips are dangerous for cyclists who must leave the bike lane for many reasons.

    It seems your concern is for crashes caused by overtaking vehicles. In fact, the number of overtaking crashes for cyclists otherwise riding legally and using safe cycling practices is very small. The laws in the past did require cyclists to ride against traffic. They were changed because all the statistics and studies showed that to be a dangerous practice which still results in many crashes of cyclists riding against the flow of traffic. One of the reasons is the one suggested, passing time. The closure rate of cyclists riding against traffic is greater, resulting in less time to react. A cyclist riding at 15 mph against traffic and a motor vehicle at 35 mph have relative speeds of 50 mph. The same cyclist riding traveling in the same direction as the motorist would have a relative speed of 20 mph, giving more that twice the reaction time and possibly less severe consequences in the event of a crash. The primary reason though, is that motorists do not expect to see anything approaching from the right. They typically do not look right when preparing to enter the roadway. That also applies to cyclists on sidewalks. Numerous deaths and injuries result. There are other reasons as well. The main point though, is that riding against traffic has been thoroughly documented to be extremely hazardous and hence the present laws.

  4. Tom says:

    You convinced me with your statistics. Why don’t they just draw a line down the middle of the sidewalk and call the right side the bike lane. But have the cyclists travel in the opposite direction of the pedestrians.

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