Patience is a virtue. And baby steps? Well, sometimes that’s how laws are done.
From our legislative platform, there are two measures in play:
- HB 33 and SB 90: Make texting while driving a primary offense.
- HB 117 and SB 116: Add vulnerable road users to current Move Over law.
Texting while driving a primary offense: The bills are moving through both the House and Senate chambers. In addition to the Speaker of the House being supportive, the Governor also went public with his support.
This could be the year a much needed and necessary public safety measure becomes law. However, during a Senate committee meeting this week, Senator Gibson proposed a strike-all amendment to change the bill to a Hand-held device ban. The amendment was defeated under the premise that it would derail current efforts to complete the baby step of making texting while driving a primary offense, and thus, nothing would be done this session. Certainly there is interest for a hand-held device ban for Florida and Senator Gibson was approached by advocates after the meeting. FBA left a note for Senator Gibson stating, ‘How can we help?’
HB 33 and SB 90 each have only one more chamber committee to pass before making it to the floor. Once it passes the floor vote in each chamber, it goes to the Governor. This could become law before the session closes. Stay tuned.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Bill: As we stated in the previous blog, our adding vulnerable road users to the current Move Over law has changed to a bicycle and pedestrian safety bill. The committee substitution bill can be found here:
Please take a moment to read the new bill as we move forward in support. The good news is that the new language does incorporate the spirit of the current Move Over law to apply to people (bike/ped); the even better news is that it addresses crossing a double yellow line to pass a cyclist and a few other safety measures to help motorists, cyclists and pedestrians share the road.
Although HB 117 passed its first of two House committees, it remains stalled on the Senate side. We need SB 116 to be heard by the Senate Transportation Committee to get the bill moving and matched to the House bill.
Please take a moment to contact the Senate Transportation Committee, especially those in District 2, to ask Chair Gainer to put SB 116 (companion bill to HB 117) on the agenda. SB 116 needs to be put on the agenda in order for an amendment to be filed that will match it up to HB 117.
We encourage our members to stay engaged, to keep asking elected officials for their support and most importantly, to thank them for their efforts. These are the baby steps that are moving us forward.
You can follow the 2018 FL legislative session for yourself by visting each chamber’s website and utilizing the TRACKING feature:
Keep fighting the good fight with FBA!
For a more comprehensive legislative update from the MPOAC, please go to our membership website: Documents/Legislative Platform/2018 FL Legislative Updates
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org.
Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here. Want a hard copy of our Messenger? Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!
Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general bicycle educational presentation. The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, county and city elected officials, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content. There is no fee. Visit the FBA Presentations page to see our complete line of signature presentations.
Have you heard? We have Move Over for People bill sponsors!! Thank you Senator Baxley, District 12, for filing SB 116 and House Representative Stone, District 22, for filing HB 117. Would you like to work the process with us to see these bills become a law? Visit our Legislative Platform page to learn more about our advocacy initiatives and to sign up for our 2018 Florida legislative session email updates.
Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association share a common cause in bicycle education and promotion for residents and visitors to the Sunshine State. Share the Road license plate proceeds benefit Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association to further these efforts. What’s on your motor vehicle? Get the Share the Road license plate!