News-Press Sept. 29, 2015 by Ben Brasch
Passidomo refiles bicycle safety bill
Motorists who cause bodily injury to bicyclists or other "vulnerable road users" could, in addition to other charges, get slapped with fines up to $2,500, under a bill refiled by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples.
House Bill 253 intends to make roads safer for bicycles, also calls for motorists' licenses to be suspended for three months, with a requirement to retake a driver's exam, if they twice within five years are charged with non-criminal traffic infractions that result in serious bodily injury or death to bicyclists or other "vulnerable" pedestrians.
Under the bill, a "vulnerable" road user includes pedestrians at crosswalks, highway workers and people riding horses, farm tractors, horse-drawn carriages or electric mobility devices.
The bill spells out that motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists or pedestrians when making right turns that cross sidewalks, bicycle lanes or bicycle paths.
The measure also would allow motorists to cross double yellow median lines to give three feet of space when passing bicyclists or other "vulnerable" users.
Passidomo filed a similar measure for the 2015 session. That proposal cleared four committees but died without getting a floor hearing when the House ended its regular session early over a budget impasse with the Senate. The new bill will be considered during the 2016 session, which starts in January.
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The News Service of Florida contributed to this story.