I keep reading and seeing things about the Florida laws that I am pretty sure are wrong. Made worse is that the media quotes people — “authorities” — who are also wrong. So the the wrong statements get amplified.
Here are two things I saw just in the last week that made my jaw drop.
From The Suncoast News titled NPR police targeting jaywalkers to reduce carnage
During two enforcement sweeps in January along U.S. 19, officers wrote 34 citations to pedestrian violators, five warnings, six moving violations and one nonmoving violation, according to a report from Sgt. Erik Jay, the department’s traffic supervisor. . . .
Most citations were handed out to pedestrians who failed to cross at marked crosswalks. If a pedestrian safety brochure doesn’t convince violators to change their habits, $62.50 traffic tickets might persuade them. . . .
The worst spot for pedestrians seems to be U.S. 19 at Green Key Road, Pascalli said while watching the intersection from an unmarked Dodge Charger. Walkers tend to dart among the U.S. 19 traffic, about a block north of Main Street, to get to restaurants and a small motel. . . .
“People don’t understand that’s a violation,” Pascalli said about jaywalking. “A lot of people don’t understand the law.” Pedestrians usually tell an officer that they have to walk too far out of the way to get to a marked crosswalk. . . .
I don’t know if the reporter blew the quotes or the police don’t understand the law.
Then, there is this one from a Tampa TV station where an attorney redefines where cyclists must ride. I’ll give you a hint. It is not “possible.” He has made up a new one that I’d not heard before.
Florida is a dangerous place to ride a bicycle. Dr. Robert Niedbalec was just killed riding his, along Fletcher Avenue.
His death marks the 12th since last July, of cyclists killed on our roads. Niedbalec was apparently doing everything right; he was in the bike lane, and going with traffic.
His death brings more questions and frustrations. Attorney Brian Harrington joined Good Day to discuss what can be done to make roads safer. Harrington is also the former president of USA Triathlon.
The best part is at the end, where the reporter, in incredulous voice asks him point blank what motorists are to do about these obvious scofflaws.
Wasn’t there anyone from the FBA in that area available to appear on TV?
It doesn’t take a lot of work to see many more examples, but the question is what can be done about it?