Saturday, February 20, 2016

BikeWalkLee urges Lee State Legislative Delegation to support Senate version of Passidomo's Vulnerable Users safety bill

For the second year in a row, the Passidomo Vulnerable Users safety bill is moving through the Florida Legislature.  In Feb. 18th's action by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, an amendment by Rep. Oliva (Miami) was adopted which drops important provisions of the bill, including removing all the increased fines and punishments and the "right hook" provision.  BikeWalkLee is concerned about these changes and sent a letter (see below) that urged the Lee Legislative delegation to support the Senate version of the bill (SB 332), which is essentially the original bill introduced by Rep. Passidomo.
 NOW is the time to contact your state legislators to urge them to enact SB 332 (the original version of the House bill).  Click here for the email addresses to the Lee Legislative Delegation.

Note:  At the bottom of this blog is Rep. Passidomo's Feb. 20th update report on HB 253., which is a good explanation of the bill.

Links to Legislative document:
See FBA's Legislative Update

BikeWalkLee Letters to Lee Legislative Delegation:

From: Darla Letourneau []
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 12:40 PM
To: Matt Caldwell;  Rep. Eagle/Paige Biagi; Rep. Heather Fitzhagen; Kathleen Passidomo; Rep. Ray Rodrigues; Senator Garrett Richter; Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto
Subject: BikeWalkLee urges support of SB332, Vulnerable Users safety bill

Members of Lee Legislative Delegation:

As we have communicated with you several times this session, BikeWalkLee's top legislative priority is bike/ped safety, including passage of the Passidomo bill on vulnerable road users (HB 253/SB 332). We are concerned that the House bill, as amended in yesterday's Criminal Justice Subcommittee, eliminates some key provisions, including provisions related to increased fines and punishments. We urge you to support the original version of the bill that was introduced by Rep. Passidomo, as it moves through the legislative process.

Thank you for your support.

on behalf of BikeWalkLee

See BikeWalkLee's Jan. 5, 2016 blog post: BikeWalkLee urges Lee Legislative Delegation to support roadway safety legislation

See BikeWalkLee's Oct. 1, 2015 letter to the Lee County Legislative Delegation

Rep. Passidomo's Email Update on 2/20/16:

HB 253 which is designed to protect bicyclists and other vulnerable users of a roadway is now on its way to the floor after passing through the Economic Affairs Committee. Specifically, the bill requires a vehicle to pass at a safe distance of not less than three feet between any part of or attachment to the vehicle, anything extending from the vehicle, or any trailer or other thing being towed by the vehicle and a vulnerable user. The bill allows a driver to briefly and safely drive on the left side of a roadway in a no-passing zone when passing a vulnerable user in order to provide at least three feet between the vehicle and the vulnerable user. It also requires a person making a right turn that overtakes a vulnerable user traveling in the same direction to signal appropriately and to complete the turn only if it can be achieved by maintaining a safe distance (minimum of 20 feet) from the vulnerable user. This legislation prohibits a person operating a vehicle who overtakes and passes a vulnerable user of a public roadway proceeding in the same direction from making a right or left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the vulnerable user. The bills provides that groups of 10 or fewer bicyclists may interrupt traffic flow at a single time after obeying all traffic laws. Law enforcement officers would be required to note on specified traffic citations if the violation contributed to the bodily injury of a vulnerable user. Recipients of citations for infractions of specified sections which result in bodily injury to a vulnerable user would be required to appear before a judge for a hearing. Finally, the bill provides that a vulnerable road user is responsible for damage or injury in the same manner the bill does for motor vehicle drivers. This bill has one more stop in the Senate before heading to the Senate floor.

Report by Darla Letourneau

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