Investigation: space for cyclists rarely enforced - New York News

Investigation: space for cyclists rarely enforced

Posted: Updated: Nov 26, 2013 10:20 PM
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Three feet is not a lot of space, but it can be the difference between life and death for people pedaling down the road.

That's the space motorists are supposed to give bicyclists when they pass. It's not a recommendation; it's the law. It first took effect back in 2006, and Florida is now one of 22 states requiring motorists to give cyclists at least three feet when passing.

LINK: Safely passing bicyclists

But a FOX 13 investigation reveals that apparently law enforcement isn't paying much attention to the law because motorists are rarely cited.

In 2012, across the state, law enforcement issued just 84 citations. In Pinellas County, just one citation was issued for the entire year. That doesn't surprise some local cyclists who want to see Florida's law get more attention.

LINK: "Ride Right, Drive Right"

"I don't think people are aware of that law. I don't think they understand the concept that we are to be treated like a vehicle," says Sandra Rich, who rides in Largo.

One of Rich's riding partners says not only do motorists ignore the law, but sometimes they're even hostile to cyclists.

"I had one lady recently tell me that she tried to hit me. When I saw her at the stoplight she said it was because I wasn't far enough in the bike lane," says Heather Elliott-Jones.

There were few citations in Hillsborough County as well, just six in 2012. Lori Luna was run over by a hit-and-run driver on Sheldon Road last year and thinks law enforcement should do more to protect cyclists and prevent accidents.

"I could have orphaned two kids. I could have been a vegetable," says Luna. There were no citations all last year in Polk, Pasco and Hernando counties for violating the three-foot law.

Local law enforcement offered a variety of opinions as possible explanations why there are so few citations. The numbers don't reflect warning notices, as well as citations for Careless Driving, which is a catch-all category.

Still, Bay Area cyclists believe they need to look out for themselves if the law is not being enforced.

"I snug the curb now when I ride," says Luna. "I'm much more cautious than I ever was before."

 



 

LOOK UP VIOLATIONS IN YOUR COUNTY:

https://services.flhsmv.gov/SpecialtyPlates/UniformTrafficCitationReport

Instructions:

1) Select the year and select the county you are searching for, or select (SELECT ALL) for statewide numbers.

2) For the agency, enter (SELECT ALL).

3) For Violation Classification, select NON-CRIMINAL (MOVING).

4) For Violation Codes, select 526-IMPROPER OVERTAKING/PASSING BICYCLE.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Report: Joan Rivers on slow road to recovery

    Report: Joan Rivers on slow road to recovery

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:08:01 GMT

    Hollywood icon Joan Rivers, 81, is reportedly on a slow road to recovery after she went into cardiac arrest at a New York City doctor's office. Rivers remains in serious condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, according to her daughter, Melissa Rivers.  Doctors were expected to slowly remove Rivers from a medically-induced coma on Tuesday to asses her brain functionality.

    Hollywood icon Joan Rivers, 81, is reportedly on a slow road to recovery after she went into cardiac arrest at a New York City doctor's office. Rivers remains in serious condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, according to her daughter, Melissa Rivers. Doctors were expected to slowly remove Rivers from a medically-induced coma on Tuesday to asses her brain functionality.

  • Crash in Lincoln Tunnel causes major delays

    Crash in Lincoln Tunnel causes major delays

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:33:28 GMT
    One of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly four hours after a chain-reaction accident involving a New York-bound jitney bus and two other vehicles. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says three people were reported injured in the accident in the center tube at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
    One of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly four hours after a chain-reaction accident involving a New York-bound jitney bus and two other vehicles. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says three people were reported injured in the accident in the center tube at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

  • $2.4B Revel casino shuts down after just 2 years

    $2.4B Revel casino shuts down after just 2 years

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:47 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:47:40 GMT
    Revel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy Revel Entertainment)Revel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy Revel Entertainment)
    Revel Casino Hotel closed its doors Tuesday morning, a little more than two years after opening with high hopes of turning around Atlantic City's struggling casino market.
    Revel Casino Hotel closed its doors Tuesday morning, a little more than two years after opening with high hopes of turning around Atlantic City's struggling casino market. The 5:25 a.m. casino shutdown followed the closure of its hotel on Monday. By mid-September, four of Atlantic City's 12 casinos will have closed, but none will be a costlier failure than Revel.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices