If you’ve been paying attention out there, you may have noticed the “3 Feet Please – It’s The Law” signs. They’re on county buses and vehicles and even on some of our local bicyclists. According to The News-Press, it’s a way to remind drivers of the law here in Florida that requires motorists to keep a distance of at least 3 feet from bicyclists.
Unfortunately, not many motorists are aware of this law.
Our Fort Myers bicycle accident lawyers understand that the state of Florida is one of the most dangerous in the country for two-wheeled riders. And Southwest Florida is among the most dangerous areas in the state. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 100 bicyclists who were killed in traffic accidents in the Sunshine State in 2010. Only California reported more cyclist fatalities. The safety of these riders depends heavily on the drivers of motor vehicles. We need to look out for one another and keep safety a top priority.
Under this 3-foot law:
-Bicycles are recognized as having the same rights to our roadways as any other motor vehicle. And they are to be treated like any other vehicle.
-Any kind of vehicle that’s looking to pass — whether it’s a bicycle or a tractor-trailer — must allow at least 3 feet between them. Drivers passing other vehicles and bicyclists are also required to pass safely — especially on narrower roadways.
The “3 Feet Please” campaign launched a few years ago in the state of Florida after bicyclists voiced concern that many motorists weren’t aware of the law. This law was actually passed back in 2006 after a number of bicyclists were involved in unnecessary accidents because of seemingly “careless” drivers.
Consider it this way: Vehicles can weigh 2 tons or more. Now when you put that up against a bicycle that weighs less than 200 pounds, it’s not hard to see who’s going to come out the winner.
To help to spread the word, bicyclists across the state are sporting “3 Feet Please” jerseys to remind motorists to keep safety in mind. Lee County has this slogan on Lee Tran buses.
This 3-feet bicycle law is just as important as any other law out there. It’s especially important here in the Southwest Florida area where we see a plethora of bicyclists along our roadways year round. Remember that bicyclist is someone’s mother, someone’s child and someone’s friend. Let’s help to keep everyone safe and keep the distance between bicyclists and motorists.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a dedicated law firm that offers assistance to victims and the families of victims of bicycle accidents. Call 1-800-283-2900 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
More Blog Entries:
Study Proves Driver Fault in Bicycle Accidents, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, February 5, 2013
Bicycle Accidents in Fort Myers Likely with Increased Ridership, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, June 23, 2012