Florida mandatory bike lane law

Florida cyclists are asking you to call the office of Governor Charlie Crist now to veto the Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles bill, which adds a mandatory bike lane provision to Florida law. If this law is enacted, Florida will join six other states with discriminatory bike lane laws that require bike lane use by cyclists (with the standard exemptions).

Read the details here, and good luck Florida.

The Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles bill is an omnibus 81 page bill that rewrites big sections of Florida statute related to motor vehicle regulations. Just the introduction that provides an overview of the changes runs to nearly nine pages. The Florida legislature acted with blinding speed on this one — it first went to committee on March 17, and the house and senate both passed this bill with unanimous votes at the end of April.

There is no bike caucus in the Florida legislature, and this stuff can be hard to catch with the typically small volunteer staffs used by almost all local bike advocacy groups.

Learn how to take action here.

10 Comments

  • miketivist
    May 5, 2010 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the post. However, it is unclear here as to whether you are asking people to support or defeat the bill. Or whether the bill is making it mandatory for all road projects to include bike lanes or mandatory for bikes to ride only in the bike lane. For any confused readers, it is the latter in both cases. And according to the action link, the law also allows motorized vehicles in bike lanes & on trails.

  • May 5, 2010 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    Aargh, me and my bike advocate jargon language shortcuts. “Mandatory bike lane law” means cyclists are required to use a bike lane when present, with the usual exceptions. I'll edit the article to clarify.

  • bb
    May 6, 2010 - 7:58 am | Permalink

    What are the other six states to include the bike lane riding?

  • Pingback: Link roundup: May 6 | Tucson Velo

  • May 6, 2010 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Alabama, California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. Oregon state law allows local jurisdictions to have mandatory bike lane laws as well.

    Alabama is unique in having no exceptions to mandatory bike lane usage (e.g. the cyclist can't leave the bike lane to avoid hazards, to pass other vehicles, to make a left turn, etc).

  • BikeKiller
    November 7, 2010 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

    you douchebag bicyclists need to stay in the bike lane, or im running all of your dumbfvcks over.

    mkay, bye.

  • Anonymous
    July 26, 2011 - 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand, if bikes do not ride in the bike lane then where are they suppose to ride?

  • July 26, 2011 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

     The Commute Orlando article I linked to describes in detail the problems with mandatory bike lane laws. Here’s the link again: http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/05/05/call-governor-crist/

  • Anonymous
    July 26, 2011 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    The article you sent me is anti bike lanes. If city hall see this Orlando article they will refuse to add bike lanes in my town. Is this what we want?

    There are many common sense exceptions to the mandatory  bike lane use. I don’t see the big deal, unless I am not reading between the lines.

  • July 26, 2011 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

    The exceptions are the problem: Mandatory bike lane (MBL) laws replace common sense with legality. In states with MBL and Far To the Right laws, cyclists who try to leave the bike lane are  harassed by local law enforcement and drivers, even when their behavior is legal.  The usual exceptions are debris or hazardous conditions in the lane, to pass a cyclist or other obstruction, or leaving the lane to make a left turn.

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