Chilly Chili Picnic
Saturday, January 20
O'Leno State Park
The picnic features a Chili Cookoff, and everyone is invited to bring their best chili. See full details in the Members Area.
Bike 4 Vets Progam on WUFT
Check out WUFT's coverage of the Bikes for Vets Program. See more info about our Service Group here. If you can help, join the group in the Members Area, Me page.
Need Kids Bikes
Need kids bikes -- donate to a good cause. Your old kid's bike will be rehabbed and given to low-income kids throughout the year. Anyone wanting to help rehab kids bikes can show up at the Freewheel Project at 618 S. Main St every Saturday from 10-1pm. There will be someone there to show you all the basics. It's fun, you're helping fix bikes for low-income kids and you'll discover what a cool place the Freewheel Project is!
Drop off at the Freewheel Project (Tue - Fri from 1 to 6, Sat 10 - 6), at 5015 NW 19th Place, or call Diann at 378-7063 for pickup.
FREE Membership Offer from Adventure Cycling
This holiday season, we invite you to explore the joy of bicycle travel by accepting a free six-month trial memberships (a $22.50 value) to the Adventure Cycling Association.* This free membership includes a subscription to Adventure Cyclist magazine, members-only online resources and articles, access to our members-only guided tours, and more. Use this link to sign up. (*Note that this offer is valid only to new members and must be sent to a U.S. mailing address.)
It's Time to Ditch the 3-Foot Rule**
Let's face it, the 3-foot rule is a mess. First, who decided 3 feet was enough room? It isn't. When drivers miss it by being too close they can be 12 to 18 inches or less off our left handlebar at 35 or 45 MPH or higher. To make matters worse, it is unenforceable and unenforced. Most police have no way to measure or prove a violation absent actual contact. As a result, it is rare to see it cited.
There is a better solution. Florida already has a very easily understood and well known "Move Over" law which requires drivers to move over when they approach an emergency, sanitation or utility service vehicle. Bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate to also require drivers to move over for "vulnerable road users." This is a simple but critical amendment to the statute because under current law "vulnerable road users" already includes cyclists, pedestrians, and several other similar vulnerable users.
Every motorist can grasp what it means to "move over." The Move Over law would require motorists on a four-lane road to "vacate the lane closest to the vulnerable road user," meaning move over into the adjoining lane. When passing a vulnerable road user on a road with only one lane in each direction, the law forces drivers to "slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit" even on roads with speed limits as low as 25 mph. In addition, in that situation the proposed amendment also requires that these drivers "shall pass at a distance not less than 4 feet from the vulnerable road user."
The next legislative session begins in January. The bills to amend the Move Over law are supported by the Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) as well as law enforcement and many others. Senate Bill 116 was filed by Senator Baxley, District 12. The companion House Bill 117 was filed by Representative Charlie Stone, District 22. Work is being done to secure additional sponsors to each of them in order to get them passed this next session.
Jim Dodson is an experienced bike accident lawyer, cyclist and bicycle safety advocate who has been representing accident victims for over twentyfive years. He represents injury victims throughout Florida. He is the author of the Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook, relied upon by hundreds of cyclists across the state. If you have a question about a cycling accident, contact Jim at www.jimdodsonlaw.com. There is never any charge to discuss your case.
**Legal information is not legal advice. Nothing in this article may be considered legal advice. If you have specific questions for Jim Dodson, simply call his office at 1-888-340-0840. There is never a charge to talk about your case.
Originally published in the Florida Freewheelers' "Spoke'n Word".