Tallahassee Leaders Urge Bicycle Safety

By: Lanetra Bennett
May 7, 2014

Tallahassee city leaders hit the streets today with one goal-- keep cyclists safe.

The Tallahassee Police Department has investigated six bicyclist fatalities since 2005.

"I commute to work several times a week and I love it. But, it can be very scary," said Misi Tuttle, cyclist.

To help take the scare out of riding bikes, the City of Tallahassee held an on-street outreach Wednesday.

Staff and volunteers stood at the intersection of Blair Stone Road and Park Avenue to hand out safety brochures and measuring tape to remind drivers of Florida's Three Feet Passing Law; the law requires drivers to give a minimum of three feet when passing a cyclist.

"Even just a small car, when they come within a couple of feet of you, you don't know what they're going to do and it's just very intimidating to have a 3,000 pound vehicle right beside you when you're riding a very small bike," said Tuttle.

The Tallahassee Police Department reported 59 car crashes involving bicycles last year... Of those, there were 38 injuries.

"This is really simply about safety," said Tuttle.

The City placed bicycles near the side of the road with signs on them to show just what three feet looks like. They say the distance should be from the handle bars of the bike to the farthest side of the vehicle, which is usually the mirror.

"They think it's just a courtesy, but, it is a law. It's something that you have to abide by. You're saving a family member, somebody that's got a family; somebody that might be going to work," said Rob Kelly, Tallahassee Police Department.

Violators of the law can be given a fine.

The outreach is a part of Bike Week to promote mobility and environmental protection. Friday is "Bike to Work Day."


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