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Crunch-time for No texting while Driving bills - contact your representatives

Johan van Tol - 4/22/2019

No texting while driving bill on the Senate and House calendars April 23
It is crunch-time for the texting and driving bills in the house and senate. The senate version (SB 76) calls for no handheld devices while driving, while the house bill (HB 107) calls for no texting and driving, both making it a primary offense instead of a secondary offense. It is important that thess bill pass this year. After a 2018 with no less than 686 of pedestrians killed, the highest ever in Florida, and 146 cyclists killed, the second highest number ever, it has become abundantly clear that the distraction caused by cell-phones contributes to a very large number of fatalities, injuries and crashes. It's probably not a surprise to many that the number of crashes has gone up by 74% since smartphones were becoming commonplace starting in 2012. We're having 34% more injuries and 30% more fatalities since 2011. This in spite of increased use of safety belts and an increase in number of cars with (side-impact) airbags.
Below is the message from the executive director of the Florida Bicycle Association for which this bill is one of the top priorities. Please call or email your representatives (Bill Montford in the senate) and representatives Ramon Alexander (district 8) or Loranne Ausley (district 9) and tell them that it is important that these bills pass. This could be an opportunity as well to visit the gallery on the fifth floor to witness the deliberations in person.
-From Becky Afonso, FBA executive director:

The Florida Bicycle Association appreciates all the efforts from our members and member bicycle clubs who support our legislative platform and engage their elected officials in the process. For the past two years, FBA has been an active member of the DNT TXT N DRV coalition, a grassroots effort of over 80 organizations to make Texting While Driving a primary offense. Last year the initiative died in Senate committee. This year, a bill has reached the House floor and a bill has reached the Senate floor. The issue at stake is the House bill (HB 107) is for Texting While Driving a primary offense and the Senate bill (SB 76) is to create Hands Free legislation (meaning, no holding a wireless communications device while driving).

The following was received today from the coalition and I thought to share it with this forum. I highly encourage watching the live video feed if you can. I personally find the process fascinating.

Greetings FL DNT TXT N DRV Coalition Members – tomorrow is a big day! I have had several people ask what to expect so here is an outline of what should happen:

Bills on Special Order – this is the time when time the sponsor will explain the bill to their fellow members. Once they explain what is in the bill, then members are allowed to ask questions. It is also the time when amendments are proposed and considered by the members. Once questions are answered and amendments adopted or not, the bill will be rolled over to Third Reading.


Third Reading is the time for debate and a final vote. Once a final vote has been taken by the Chamber (House or Senate), the bill is sent to the other Chamber for their consideration. A bill needs to be identical to the other Chambers bill or amended to be identical for final passage.


SB 76 by Simpson is on the Senate Special Order Calendar. Senate session begins at 10:00 am.


There are about 8 bills on Third Reading and then they will start working on bills on the Special Order Calendar. SB 76 is third on the list so it should be up by 11:30 am.


HB 107 by Toledo, Slosberg & others is on the House Special Order Calendar. House session begins at 12:30 pm.


HB 107 is the third bill on the list so it should come up for consideration early.


If you are in town and want to watch the House and Senate sessions, there is a Gallery on the Fifth Floor of the Capitol with a public viewing area.


The Florida Channel will also carry the House and Senate sessions – just go to



Welcome to Capital City Cyclists, a recreational bike club and bicycle advocacy organization for the Florida Capital region. 

Spring Picnic and Rides April 28

Johan van Tol - 4/19/2019

This year's spring picnic will be at the Miccosukee Community Center, which is a great starting point for both road and dirt rides. It is also air conditioned ...This is a great opportunity to get to know other club members and cycling enthusiasts.

The longer road and dirt road rides start at 9 am, and the shorter road ride starts at 10 am. The food starts at 11:30 am. 
The currently planned rides are listed below:

1)  23+ mile clay route: Clay Road Ride Map

2)  27+ mile version of the standard Sunday "Festus" road ride  Road Ride Map

3)  13+ mile out-and-back road ride to Cypress Landing; Short Ride Map

The club will provide drinks, some light snacks, plates, cutlery, etc. Please bring a covered dish to share.  

Club members are encouraged to register to have an idea about the event attendance.

Non-members are welcome to join the party! They are required to register and acknowledge the liability waiver. They are also expected to contribute with a dish to share or a small contribution in the tip jar. See our  Event page

Lights that don't turn green for you? Often the in-pavement detection loop does not detect you, either because the sensitivity is set too low, or you do not know where the sweetspot is for the loop to detect your rims. 
Put your frustration into a citizen complaint on DIgiTally. That'll help things to change!  Bicycle Detection