Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bicycling - news When a Group Ride Turns Deadly, A distracted driver plowed into a routine group ride in Florida. Now, two cyclists are dead—and a tight-knit community is in mourning. By Robert Annis, Nov 28, 2018

A must read for anyone who uses any of Florida’s roadways – anyone, including the roadway directly out front of your home – regardless of whether you are a driver, passenger, cyclist, jogger, a pedestrian, taking your dog out for a walk or walking your child to school. Florida’s weak laws regarding distracted driving put everyone at risk. No wonder parents won’t let their children walk to area schools.

As noted in this article, Florida has a higher rate of cycling fatalities than any other state, at 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s almost 60 percent higher than Louisiana, the next-closest state in the grim rankings. In September, the Orlando Sentinel called Florida roads “a killing field for cyclists.”
The article goes further to explain that no charges have been brought against the driver as of time of the article (and this blog post). Two attorneys who specialize in bike-related cases doubt any ever will.

Why? Because the article and the sources explain that Florida doesn’t have a vulnerable road user law, and the penalties for distracted driving are some of the most lenient in the country. A first-time offense is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction, while second offense within five years—if it causes the death of another person—can result in 120 hours of community service, as well as civil penalty fees.

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