Our Central Florida friends at CommuteOrlando.com have made us aware of a little-known fact that could mean big changes to bike lane use in Florida.

Unbeknownst to Florida Bicycle Association, a mandatory bike lane use provision was included in the Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles bill.  The bill also allows local governments to permit mopeds, golf-carts and other motorized vehicles on sidewalks and trails.

Call Governor Crist as soon as you can to ask him to veto this bill. Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: (850) 488-7146

According to the wording on this bill, use of a bike lane by a person on a bicycle would be mandatory, by law (though unstated for sure, this could be either at the expense of, or in direct conflict with, our right to ride on the road). As stated above, it would also allow local governments to permit motorized vehicles on bike lanes and trails.

In my opinion, mandating the presence of bike lanes on all applicable road projects is great. Mandating the use of said bike lane at all costs is not. In Miami Beach I already have to contend with city golf carts around the South Beach promenades as it is, I’d hate to have to deal with the army of scooters and mopeds we have down here as well. Then there’s e-bikes, and I have not made up my mind about those yet.

Quoting from the CommuteOrlando.com post:

Why it’s bad for pedestrians:

It’s bad enough that pedestrians have to suffer parked cars blocking sidewalks, being blasted by sprinklers, sidewalk bicyclists who don’t announce themselves when passing, and thousands of other nuisances, now they’ll have to share stretches of sidewalk in some jurisdictions with motorized vehicles.  Local governments will be able to permit mopeds, golf-carts, motorized scooters and other vehicles which don’t belong on sidewalks and on “bike paths.”  The law limits such vehicles to 15 mph, but how will that be enforced?

It’s time for Florida’s bicyclists and pedestrians to send a strong message: “We will not be marginalized.”

I can’t say I disagree at all.

You can also email the Governor at Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com.

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9 Responses to HB 971 Bad for Bicyclists and Pedestrians (Urgent)

  1. Cannondale2010 says:



  2. Rider says:

    I called, this is a mega stupid bill. Thanks for the awareness.


  3. Automobile Man says:

    Not being a biker, although I did ride one everywhere until I turned 16 and discovered 4 wheels are more efficient than 2…

    In stead of mandating the construction of bike lanes - (Though, I think bike ONLY lanes are a GOOD thing, as well as more public / pedestrian / bicycle spaces) - how about mandating the education of ya’ll (ok NOT All of you) - but I do see down here in South FL a vast number of people who don’t know the bike rules. I was taught that as a bicyclist that (beyond the proper safety equipment) a biker is to follow the rules of the road AS if they were a car. Stop at red lights (and walk the bike across at green - ya one thing cars don’t do), yield to pedestrians etc. I can’t remember how many times I almost hit one of you as I’m about to make a LEGAL turn only to find a bicycle flying past me at a RED LIGHT. (I doubt having a lane would solve this problem.) To be honest.. I’d wouldn’t feel to guilty if I hit you especially if I had the right of way. (Same goes for those folks handing out fliers, kids begging for football team money [go do a carwash, friggin learn to earn a buck and not be a buren on me!] or selling papers in the middle of a busy street - get out of my friggin way!! But that’s another issue.)

    So, how about a bicycle rider’s license!!! Quick easy, one day or 1/2 day class taught at a bike shop, community center et al, and a license available for purchase (low cost) online via the DMV with a certificate of proof from the shop (Technical solution would be needed to avoid fraud.)

    Benefits…. Revenue for the State, city and business. Can be made a ticket-able offense for breaking the auto laws (if not already). And ensures that ya’ll are safe riders too - or at least took a test/class.

    I’m sure this has bent some of your spokes out of place, but it needed to be said.


  4. Kurt says:


    For those of you who wish to send an email to Crist expressing your concerns, but do not have the time to draft a letter, you can visit the following site, VETO HB 971, and sign your name to a prepared petition letter. Upon submission, this petition will be sent directly to Governor Crist’s email box:

    See: http://vetohb971.x10hosting.com/




  5. truthseekerjess says:

    Please be careful before reacting to this bill because there are different pieces included in it.

    This is the ultimate in political subterfuge. The people bankrolling these veto “HB 971” sites don’t care about drunk driving. They are hiding behind that issue because the bill ends a monopoly that funnels all the car boot business to one vender, opening up the market to competition.

    Don’t be fooled or used. HB 971 makes the road safer by making sure repeat DUI offenders only get behind the wheel of a car with an interlock device, basically a breathalyzer tied to the car’s ignition. This solution is more effective than current law since 50% to 75% of DUI offenders currently drive on a suspended license. That’s why both the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and MADD support this legislation.


  6. Automobile Man says:

    Truthsekerjess…And which company do you work for that produces interlock devices???

    Maybe the government bureaucats stop adding items into bills that have good intentions because they can’t pass on their own merrit.

    BTW, the interlock devices can be easily defeated.. all you need is someone who’s not drunk, or some how force clean air down the tube to start the engine…

    And BTW HB 971 (to my knowledge) doesn’t have diddly to do with drunk driving…


  7. Vito HB 971 says:

    Visit http://www.veto971.com/ to get the real story on this bill. Veto HB 971 by calling the Governor and telling him to keep drunk drivers off the road. The interlock device makers are the only ones who want this bill to pass so they can continue to profit off people’s misery.

    Governor Crist is the “People’s Governor” and he will lsiten to us if we make our voices heard:

    (850) 488-7146


  8. daniel says:

    the only way a 4 time dui convicted person can get his license back with this new bill is that he can not have a dui conviction in the last 10 years, he can have no driving on suspended/revoked license charges and he has to have had a dui class completed within the last six months…..if someone has stayed out of trouble 10 years and wants to pay to beable to have his license with haveing an interlock device in his or her vehicle why not give them another chance….the interlock will not let them drive there vehicle if they have been consuming alcohol…and if they are caught driving a vehicle with out the interlock then they are arrested and pulled off the interlock program and will have no license again…this is a good bill…PASS IT.


  9. Jeff says:

    I don’t mind so much the scooter and the moped being allowed on the bike lane, but the go-karts and the golf-karts I do have a problem with. They should limit the lane to two wheels (excluding motorcycles). As for bicycle licenses, no thank you. As it is I already have to take out a fishing license. The government is a blackhole, and money always seems to disappear; unless the funds were going towards a project, and not ending up in the pockets of county employees, I would be against having to get a license to ride bicycle.


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