Call your State of Florida Senator… There’s a pro-cyclist and consumer insurance bill that will get bad drivers off the road and another bill that will make motorists “move over.”
The Florida House of Representatives Commerce Committee approved legislation on November 7, 2017 that would have Florida join 48 other states in requiring drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance. This is a major step forward for folks who are imperiled every day by bad drivers.
This will shock you and you, who have bodily insurance on your car will be mad. Some folks don’t care about you. and the Florida legislature for years has let this dangerous situation to happen on our road. Believe it or not, current Florida law requires car owners to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability. Fortunately, a brave representative, Rep. Erin Grall, has sponsored the “Responsible Roadways Act” (HB 19), will repeal our state’s bare-bones PIP system and replace it with a requirement that drivers carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $50,000 per incident.
Making this change will benefit Floridians because the number of responsibly covered drivers on the road will increase, and drivers will save money on their liability insurance. The Florida House staff conducted an analysis of this proposed legislation and found that the repeal of no-fault insurance in Florida will result in an estimated overall reduction in premiums of 9.6 percent on the liability coverage package or $81 annually per car for the average driver. Add to that the benefit of having more insured drivers on the road that are responsible for any injuries they might cause and you have a winning piece of legislation that deserves to be passed for the citizens of Florida.
The legislation now goes to the House floor for consideration. The Senate companion bill (SB 150) by Sen. Tom Lee, hasn’t been scheduled yet for a hearing.
In the meantime, please consider getting involved in this issue and others that are critical to fair treatment for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians in Florida. too long folks that can’t afford to be personally responsible for injuring people have been allowed to drive. if this law gets passed, and I hope it will, the roads of Florida will be safer, you will save insurance, and people driving will be financially responsible for any injuries they cause.
Another bill is the “Move Over Law.” Wednesday, August 9, 2017, SB 116 “Operation of Vehicles” was filed in the Florida Senate. If signed into law, the bill will require Florida drivers to “vacate lanes closest to, or reduce speed and pass, vulnerable road users, authorized emergency, sanitation, and utility service vehicles or workers, and wrecker operations under certain circumstances, subject to certain requirements,” it reads, with the addition of “vulnerable road users” (bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities) who would be protected by the “Move Over Law” if amended. Weirdly, strangely, oddly and currently, they are excluded. You don’t have protection on the streets of Florida if you are a bicyclist or pedestrian. The current law in place for bicyclists is the “Three-Foot Law,” which requires vehicles to provide a “safe passing distance” of at least 3-feet of space when passing bicyclists on the roadway. Enforcement has been negligible. In my 31 years as a cycling attorney, I’ve heard it enforced…. wait for it…. once.
In the past year, Florida Bicycle Association members have been asked by the non-profit organization’s leadership to reach out to lawmakers, requesting that vulnerable road users be included in Florida’s Move Over law. When the bill was finally filed, it became clear that their hard work has started to pay off. Almost as encouraging as the move over Law” is “The Move Over for People” initiative has been assigned to be heard in three Senate committees.
How to get involved? Contact your Florida Senator and House of Representatives member: https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find
Tell them: “Florida has the best weather and terrain for cycling in all 50 states. It’s time we made it safe for folks who want to save Florida by bicycling and walking.”