"I reported our potential wins right after the legislative session ended, but it's now official - the Governor has signed our bill:
CS/CS/HB 1223 — Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
The bill contains numerous changes to highway safety and motor vehicle laws administered by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This is a very long bill with many sections. However, the important verbiage that affects cycling includes the sections below. Specifically, from the perspective of cycling in Florida, the most significant change is clarification in the “mandatory bike lane law” that explicitly spells out when we can leave the bike lane:
“Clarifies situations in which a bicyclist is not required to ride in the marked bicycle lane (if the roadway is marked for bicycle use) or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. The bill clarifies that a bicyclist is exempt from this requirement when a “potential conflict” or a turn lane interrupts the roadway or bicycle lane.
Other sections that affect cycling include the following:
Effective October 1, 2012, requires compliance with the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets contained in 16 C.F.R., part 1203. Helmets purchased prior to October 1, 2012, in compliance with the existing statutory standards may continue to be worn legally by riders or passengers until January 1, 2016.Allows law enforcement officers to issue bicycle safety brochures and verbal warnings to bicycle riders and passengers who violate bicycle lighting equipment standards in lieu of issuing a citation.
Tim says, "These are all great wins for cycling in Florida, and are a direct result of FBA’s influence in Tallahassee. Everyone involved should be commended, particularly members of the legislative committee, and our lobbyists with Capital Alliance. Additionally, I think this signals a turn-around with our lobbying efforts, so expect good things in the future!"