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Old 10-02-06, 09:39 AM   #1
San Rensho 
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Florida 3 ft clearance "pass" law now in effect

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...l/15651607.htm

The florida law which requires drivers to give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing went into effect Sunday.

The article didn't make front page of the Herald (upstaged by coverage of the pedarast Mark Foley, R., Rep. of Florida), but it did make a fairly prominent location in the County/Local section, so the Herald can be mildly congratulated for promoting bicycling and safety.

Its good that the word is getting out because the drivers here in southern Florida are the worst, daily buzzings and "Get the F--- off the road" are the norm.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:14 AM   #2
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We have it in Wisconsin to, but I doubt you will notice any improvement. People drive however they want until a police car is nearby then everyone suddenly follows the rules.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:18 AM   #3
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- here's the actual statute:

316.083 Overtaking and passing a vehicle.--The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:

(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an appropriate signal as provided for in s. 316.156, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.

(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on audible signal or upon the visible blinking of the headlamps of the overtaking vehicle if such overtaking is being attempted at nighttime, and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

(3) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.

source:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...316/ch0316.htm
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Old 10-02-06, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...l/15651607.htm

The florida law which requires drivers to give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing went into effect Sunday.

The article didn't make front page of the Herald (upstaged by coverage of the pedarast Mark Foley, R., Rep. of Florida), but it did make a fairly prominent location in the County/Local section, so the Herald can be mildly congratulated for promoting bicycling and safety.

Its good that the word is getting out because the drivers here in southern Florida are the worst, daily buzzings and "Get the F--- off the road" are the norm.

Riding in FL, that just becomes second nature. The only thing that really shakes me is the sound of a car/car crash---that's a very distinct sound, and unforgettable. I don't expect the 3 ft. rule will make any bit of difference.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author
- here's the actual statute:

....(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on audible signal or upon the visible blinking of the headlamps of the overtaking vehicle if such overtaking is being attempted at nighttime, and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.


source:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...316/ch0316.htm
Interesting. I do this all the time, both in a car and on my bike. A quick flick of my headlights lets vehicles (especially long ones like trucks) know they can slip back in to the travel lane. On my bike, I usually tap my brakes as the car passes and it gets by me quicker. All part of the courtesy of riding; an increasing rarely commodity among both drivers and cyclists alike.

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Old 10-02-06, 03:28 PM   #6
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FWIW, I was actually pulled over by a cop Sunday night in Palm Beach Co.(Fl.) for having my front light attached to my helmet (which I prefer and have done for years without incident)rather than attached to the bike as technically required by Fl. law.After I assured him I would get a safety light to attach to the bike in addition to my helmet mounted light he was very pleasant and left w/o giving me a ticket or even warning (I think the fact I was wearing a safety vest also helped).

Also, about a month or two ago, I was riding early morning on an uncrowded 6 lane highway in Broward Co.(Fl.) on the outside of a wide outside lane and shortly after passing a cop sitting hidden in a field a fast moving vehicle sped by in the same outside lane fairly close to me(in spite of no other vehicles in sight).That actually wouldn't have even bothered me if he had just sped on but after he was well past me he then started swerving towards the outside edge of the road (apparently an attempt at intimidation that certain drivers around here all to often engage in).When drivers do this or yell or throw something ,etc. I just yell back some choice words at the top of my lungs to release any anger then promptly forget the whole thing(it's so standard at this point now I don't think I even actually get angry anymore its just a good excuse to yell, lol) .Anyway,just as I started to yell something the cop sped by me and pulled the fool over(I remember hoping the cop didn't hear what I yelled,lol).I took the middle lane as I passed and resisted even smiling but probably at least grinned.

The point in all this is I think the net effect of this new law is they probably plan to start cracking down harder on bike safety regulations on the cyclist side probably including running red lights which I had heard they already started doing in Boca,recently.I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing as I am use to riding safely in traffic.If they happen to see a speeding vehicle buzzing a cyclist,perhaps,they now have a $118 "buzzing cyclists" option in addition to a speeding ticket but I just don't see a major crackdown on the driver side particular as in my experience the major buzzers are the county buses.And I just don't see them pulling buses over though lord knows some of those surly drivers would deserve it.
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Old 10-03-06, 10:49 AM   #7
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The new law was on the news last night. I noticed drivers giving me more clearance today, but I wonder if it will last, or be enforced.
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Old 10-03-06, 03:01 PM   #8
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I don't think there has been that much difference since the law passed, although I was only yelled at once last night. If it isn't enforced, and let's be realistic, there isn't much way that it can be, the law is just so much window dressing.

Enforcing lighting rules for cycling is only seen as probable cause for a stop by cops in this area.
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Old 10-03-06, 03:14 PM   #9
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I, for one, think this new law is a joke. What was the old law? Was there one? One foot? Six inches?

From the St. Pete Times:
"State Rep. David Russell, R-Brooksville, acknowledged the new law might be tough to enforce. Law enforcement officers can write tickets only when they see the infraction.
But the law will allow agencies to set up checkpoints in areas where they hear of frequent close calls between drivers and cyclists, said Russell, who supported the measure as chairman of the House of Representatives' State Infrastructure Council."

Try impossible to enforce. At best, a few cops might make an extra effort to watch for cyclists in the next few weeks. Checkpoints? If I ever see a cycling checkpoint, I'll eat my hat.

Then there's this:
"The new law also may be used to determine blame in serious accidents, said Trooper Larry Coggins, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol."

Great, I'll feel better knowing I was in the right when they peel me off the front of an SUV.

This to me just seems like a self-serving way for the legislators and law enforcement to pat themselves on the back and say they're "looking out for cyclists" when in fact their law serves no practical use.
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Old 10-03-06, 03:22 PM   #10
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At best, it can be used as an educational tool to overcome the idea that many drivers have that they can pass a bike in the same lane of travel at anytime regardless of whether its safe to do so. Better than nothing IMHO.
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