There have been 2 bills filed that are of importance to cyclist safety. While the full session doesn't start until March, these bills are going to be taken up by the various committees. It is important to tell your legislators and the committee members that these bills are crucial to the safety of bicycles and pedestrians.
The first is HB107/SB76 "Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving". This bills aims to make use of a handheld electronic device while driving illegal, and could make a meaningful contribution towards curbing distracted driving. While texting is currently illegal, it can only be enforced as a secondary offence. Texters have to do something else wrong before they can be stopped and ticketed. This bill would make it a primary offense and would make all use of a handheld device illegal, making it easier to enforce and alleviate privacy concerns.
The passing of this bill will undoubtedly save lives.
A second bill going filed in the house and senate is HB71/SB158, which aims to make causing a crash resulting in serious injury or death of a vulnerable road user a criminal offense, with stronger penalties that current practice. It has been said that the easiest way to kill somebody is to drive them over and say that you didn't see them. You might get away with just a traffic ticket if even that. This bill aims to make the penalties stiffer and aims to help drivers pay more attention around vulnerable road users.
Please contact your legislators or subcommittee members to stress how important this is. To find out more:
, Also you can sign up for the Florida Bicycle Association Legislative updates here.