SAG Vehicle Support for a Group Ride
Natalia asked: Due to the last accident on eastbound State Road 84 that killed 2 cyclists and injured many others I am concerned about going out there again to ride by myself or in a group.
I heard it is illegal to have a SAG vehicle protecting us while we ride. Is that true? If so, why is that?
I also heard that we would need to ask for permission to every county individually to have the SAG vehicle. We ride through many different counties every weekend and it would make it really hard to ask individual permissions.
The statute that might cause you problems with a motor vehicle behind the group without a permit is this.
s. 316.183 – Unlawful Speed
(5) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
Note that it says “motor vehicle” which excludes bicycles and other human powered vehicles. I don’t think the phrase “necessary for safe operation” above would apply to the group.
Some might try to use this section of the same statute to justify your proposal.
(4) The driver of every vehicle shall …. drive at an appropriately reduced speed when:
(e) Any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic …..
In the event of a citation, I don’t believe you would be successful since, even with the unfortunate circumstances, the roadway you are using is probably not very different and no more hazardous than many others in the state.
I am aware that certain ride groups have had a marked law enforcement vehicle with lights join regularly scheduled rides to do what you suggest and control traffic at certain intersections. I don’t know if that would require a permit or cost for each county.