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Bicycle Safety — Sunshine State needs to become more bike friendly

08/14/2015
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Florida is a land of endless beaches, beauty, sunshine and outdoor activities. One would think that the leaders of this state, whose economy is tied so closely to the great outdoors, would go to great lengths to be sure that Florida’s natural beauty can be enjoyed safely. Unfortunately, when it comes to bicyclists sharing the road with motorists, the results are disappointing and tragic.

A new study by the Center for Disease Control demonstrates what many of us who live in Florida already know: Florida is the most dangerous state in the union for bicyclists. This is a tragic and disappointing statistic. Planners at the state and local level must be sure that the development which has run amok in Florida does not interfere with one’s ability to safely enjoy the benefits Florida has to offer.

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I have represented bicyclists who have been struck by motorists, and the results are almost always tragic. There is simply no amount of safety equipment that can save a bicyclist from an automobile which is, practically speaking, a hunk of sheet metal and steel weighing thousands of pounds compared to a bicycle, which can be lifted off of the ground by the average person.  The automobile will always prevail over the bicyclist in a collision. This is why it is imperative for the State of Florida to take immediate steps to not only educate motorists on how to safely share the road with bicyclists, but to weave into its planning a safe means of travel for bicyclists on the roadways. Cycling is a healthy, environmentally friendly activity which benefits one’s cardiovascular system as well as one’s well-being.  It should be encouraged and supported such that this disturbing statistic as reported by the CDC is reversed.

Cyclists should not pay the price for lawfully using the roadways of the state of Florida.

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