GM asked: I understand recent legislation makes changes to the laws about bicycling. What are the changes?
This is the reason all Florida bicyclists should be members of FBA. They have been actively working for the past few years to get changes made for the benefit of bicyclists.
On April 27, the Governor approved HB 1223 which includes some changes to statutes that affect cyclists and others mentioned on this site. The changes to the Bicycle Regulations will go into effect on October 1, 2012. The other statute changes will go into effect January 1, 2013.
s. 316.1303 – Traffic Regulations to Assist Mobility-Impaired Persons
Motorized wheelchairs may be temporarily driven from the sidewalk to the roadway to avoid a potential conflict, and a law enforcement officer may only issue a verbal warning.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
Changes are made to the standards for helmets. Helmets purchased before Oct. 1 2012 may use the present standards until Oct. 1 2016.
Changes are made to the exceptions to the “keep right” provisions. Subparagraph (5)(a) 3 is amended. The changes are highlighted.
When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane.
Subparagraph (8) concerning lighting on bicycles is amended to state that a law enforcement officer may issue a bicycle safety brochure and a verbal warning or issue a citation and assess a fine for a pedestrian violation. The court shall dismiss the violation upon proof of purchase and installation of proper lighting equipment.
s. 316.2397 – Certain Lights Prohibited; Exceptions
The lights required on a bicycle by the Bicycle Regulations may flash. Previously, fixed lights were required, and we interpreted that to mean additional lights (blinkies) could be used. Now the required lights may flash. Additional lights may still be used.
HB 599, requires the FDOT to establish a pilot program to open certain limited access highways and bridges to bicycles. As the statues now read, human-powered vehicles are prohibited from all limited access highways and bridges.