How is Florida Planning to Protect its Cyclists?

By  //  December 10, 2021

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Earlier this year, SB 950, a bill seeking to make roads a safer place for pedestrians and cycling enthusiasts alike, was signed into law by Governor Ron Desantis. This new piece of legislation comes as a response to reports that signal Florida as one of the most dangerous states for cycling and urge the need for significant measures to be taken. 

These instrumental decisions come at a time when cycling has grown exponentially in the past two years. Cycling as a sport has also been increasingly attracting new fans all over the world.

In this sense, the US has a considerable tradition in cycling, which is currently represented by American cyclists acting in some of the best professional cycling teams in the world, such as Brandon McNulty, who was 6th in the Olympic Games for Team America, and Sepp Kuss, who won stage 15 of the 2021 Tour de France, one the most important cycling events in the world.

In early predictions, he is currently priced by cycling betting odds to win the 2022 French Tour at odds of 125/1. Many will be inspired by him to take up cycling for leisure, sport, and transport, which is why this new bill is so important.

This alternative means of transportation has been praised for its health benefits, for its importance in reducing traffic in city centers, and its positive impact on noise and air pollution. Besides, more and more cities all over the world have adopted policies that incentivize locals to adhere to initiatives, such as cycling to work once a week.

The new law, which is already in effect, has already been presented to County Commissioners and the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (PBTPA).

“We don’t want to be known as a state that is dangerous for pedestrians and bicycles,” said Nick Uhren, executive director for the PBTPA. Reacting to the new rules and guidelines, Uhren also expressed his commitment to enforcing these new policies, “we want to be known as a place where people can confidently ride their bicycles, where they can confidently walk to their with through their communities and to their destinations.” Local transportation officials have also praised the regulation as a step in the right direction.

New Guidelines

The new law includes detailed information for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians that are aimed at avoiding dangerous situations and maintaining a safe environment whilst on the road.

The guidelines require the State of Florida to include bicycle safety-related questions during driver’s license lessons and exams. Additionally, drivers seeking to make a right turn while passing a cyclist are only allowed to proceed if the bicycle is a minimum of 20 feet from the intersection.

Moreover, riders cycling in groups are now allowed to proceed through an intersection in groups of 10 or less. In this case, drivers are required to wait for the group to pass before proceeding.

Furthermore, the bill also includes guidance for cyclists, including the norms for riding bicycle lanes, such as the number of bicycles allowed in each lane, among others.

This new initiative will prove particularly relevant as many cities in Florida are known as ideal to cycle, attracting many tourists and even locals to try their famous bike lines routes, such as Miami’s Rickenbacker Causeway and Crandon Blvd.