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Bicycle Laws and Safety

Old 05-22-14, 11:07 PM
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Joseph7Bianchi
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Bicycle Laws and Safety

My name is Joseph. I ride a Bianchi road bike, approximate year, early 1980's. I've been riding for decades, probably more on a bicycle than a car. I live in Pinellas county, Florida. It has one of the worst bicycle fatality rates in the entire United States. Florida as a whole also has one of the worst bicycle fatality rates in the U.S.A. Recently, there has been an increase in bicycle/car collisions, and people are dying for no good reason. I posted something on facebook, and I thought I would share it here. Most people don't actually know this, and I am certain many don't really care. In my opinion, many drivers of cars think that bicycles don't belong on the road "sharing" the streets with them. Here is the question and answer that I would like to share, and if you would pass this along to everyone, and ask them to do so also. I am sure there are a lot of people here, that have experienced some road rage over this issue. I would even like to promote t-shirts with this commonly unknown statute of the law.
Here is my facebook post. Please feel free to copy and paste this, if you like.
??? What is the minimum legal distance the driver of a car must maintain between their vehicle and the bicyclist? Regardless of road width and traffic conditions, it is a minimum of 3 feet. Pass this on. It may save a bicyclists life or serious injury. Florida statute --- s. 316.083 – Overtaking and Passing A Vehicle
(1) …. 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. ---------------------- Chapter 316 Section 083 - 2011 Florida Statutes - The Florida Senate ------- PLEASE SHARE THIS *** If you ride a bicycle, or you know someone who does, this could be you, or them. Pray for bicyclists who share the road with cars
Thanks, and be safe !
Joseph
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Old 05-23-14, 12:56 AM
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Old 05-23-14, 06:43 AM
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JBHoren
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Even better, wear one of these -- your visibility and popularity with drivers (as a target?) will increase immediately!

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Old 05-23-14, 10:23 AM
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I've ridden all over the USA and will ride just about anywhere, but I won't ride in Dade county or many parts of south Florida.

IMO (opinion, correct me only if the fact are wrong) Florida's roads combine hazards in a way to raise the risk above my threshold level. Many roads have narrow lanes with dropoffs to poor or no shoulders. On those roads is a disproportion of older drivers with poorer vision, spacial judgement, and reflexes.

As cyclist I depend absolutely on drivers seeing me, gauging my speed and distance, checking for surrounding traffic, and moving over to pass or slowing to follow as conditions dictate. That's lots of "flight planning" that has to happen in the very short time span from initial detection to overlap. Delayed detection and/or slower calculations combine to increase the risk, so narrow roads full of old drivers are a pass for me.

Some improvement can be made in road design over time, but I don't know what if anything can be done about drivers until collision management systems become dominant over the next decade or two.
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Old 07-21-14, 04:15 AM
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I wasn't aware that Florida was that dangerous. I've ridden in Florida for several decades with few problems.

I tend to avoid areas that may be extra hazardous, whenever possible. I avoid areas with heavy traffic if I can do so and still get to where I need to go, mostly just out of consideration for the safety and convenience of others. When I do have to go through hazardous areas, I try to get through them as safely and quickly as possible, spending the least amount of time there that I can.
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Old 07-28-14, 05:26 PM
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Joseph7Bianchi
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Florida --- "the most dangerous state to ride a bicycle in"

Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
I wasn't aware that Florida was that dangerous. I've ridden in Florida for several decades with few problems.

I tend to avoid areas that may be extra hazardous, whenever possible. I avoid areas with heavy traffic if I can do so and still get to where I need to go, mostly just out of consideration for the safety and convenience of others. When I do have to go through hazardous areas, I try to get through them as safely and quickly as possible, spending the least amount of time there that I can.
Well, many of the routes are blocked by canals, subdivisions, and other blockages. When traveling to the beaches or to work, and many other places, the choice of route is not often one of safety or convenience. Casual riders who only ride a bicycle for pleasure and exercise, have the luxury of choosing a safer route to avoid potential injury and death. Riders who must commute every day for whatever reason don't have this luxury.
Here's a link that verifies and supports my earlier post.
Most Dangerous Places To Ride A Bike! | Florida Biking

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Old 07-28-14, 09:57 PM
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When I lived in Florida 1975-76. It was only for a year. I lived in the Clearwater section of Tampa/St. Petersburg. But that was the 1970's. It was calmer then, than it is now.

I will have to think about putting it on my Facebook page. The last time someone visited it was over a year ago. But I am a co-admin on a Facebook support group that is head injury-related. So, I will ask the owner and other admins about posting it in the group.

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