Pass a meaningful Vulnerable Road User Law
  • Petitioned Florida Governor

This petition was delivered to:

Florida Governor
Florida State Senate
Florida State House

Pass a meaningful Vulnerable Road User Law

    1. W. Davis
    2. Petition by

      W. Davis

      Middleburg, Afghanistan

Florida is the most dangerous state in the U.S. for pedestrians.  Bicycling fatalities are higher in Florida than any other state.  Pedestrians account for 27% of traffic fatalities in major U.S. cities.  The four most dangerous large metropolitan areas in the U.S. for pedestrians are Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Jacksonville, and Miami.  Four Florida cities are the most unsafe in our whole country.  Deaths and injuries to bicycle riders spiked upward in the U.S. from 2010 to 2011 according to the U.S. D.O.T.  Bicycle deaths have increased 9%, pedestrian deaths have increased 3%, while motor vehicle deaths decreased by 7,500.

The purpose of a Vulnerable Road User Law is to protect people who use the road (described in Section 1 below) that are not otherwise protected by being encased in the protective steel shell of a motor vehicle. Currently, unless there is proof of gross negligence or circumstances such as alcohol, drugs, there are inadequate provisions in state law to support bringing meaningful and significant charges against the motor vehicle driver who has caused such harm to a vulnerable user.  It is our view that Florida law is far too lenient in punishing careless drivers who injure these vulnerable users, as these careless drivers most often receive merely a fine which they can handle by mail.  They are not even required to make a court appearance after a horrific collision. Too often, law enforcement believes that these pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable users should expect to be injured because they are being reckless in trying to share the road, and should retreat to the sidewalk where they belong.  This needs to be changed. Non-motorists using a road or street have every right to expect that drivers will be alert and avoid them. For those drivers who aren’t willing or are unable to comply, there needs to be a provision in state law where their driving skills are called into question and penalties applied.

The below vulnerable user law provides for increased fines in cases where a vulnerable road user is injured or killed because of negligence or as the result of a traffic violation. These laws increase the cost of unsafe practices that impact pedestrians and bicyclists, and provide an incentive for safer driving practices, especially around cyclists and pedestrians. In this way the laws are much like increased fines in work zones, which promote construction worker safety.  The below law recognizes that the type of negligence or traffic violations that may result in minor collisions between cars can have disproportionately severe results when a vulnerable road user is involved.  The law provide ways to address those divergent results.

Vulnerable Road User Law

Infliction of Serious Injury or Death to Vulnerable Road Users

Section 1. As used herein, the term “vulnerable road user” includes:

(a) a pedestrian, including those persons actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way; or
(b) a person riding an animal; or
(c) a person lawfully operating any of the following on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the highway:
1. A bicycle;
2. A farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;
3. A skateboard;
4. Roller skates;
5. In-line skates;
6. A scooter;
7. A moped; 
8. Motorcyclists;
9. Horse-drawn carriage drivers;
10. a person on an electric personal assistive mobility device; or
11. a person in a wheelchair.

Section 2. A person who operates a motor vehicle in a careless or distracted manner and causes serious physical injury or death to a vulnerable road user shall be guilty of infliction of serious physical injury or death to a vulnerable user.

Section 3. A person issued a citation under this section shall be required to attend a hearing before a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

Section 4. A person found to have committed an offense under this statute shall be required to

(a) have his or her driving privileged suspended for a period of no less than 6 months; and one or more of the following:
(b) pay a monetary penalty of not more than two thousand dollars; or
(c) serve a period of incarceration which may not exceed thirty days; or
(d) participate in a motor vehicle accident prevention course; or
(e) perform community service for a number of hours to be determined by the court, which may not exceed two hundred hours.

By signing this petition you are simply asking Florida’s Governor and Legislature to pass a meaningful VRU law similar to the one above.  Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition and voice your concern.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Law Enforcement Officers are Vulnerable Road Users too!

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Though prosecutors do seem to IMO pursue charges against people who strike law enforcement officers more vigorously than what what they do when a motorist strikes a "civilian", law enforcement officers are vulnerable road users too!

      http://bit.ly/1hVwRjW

      Cops: Officer hit by truck during attack by angry man outside...

      MOUNT DORA, Fla. - A Mount Dora police officer was hit by a truck during a brutal fight with a man he was trying to arrest late Tuesday night, authorities said. Witnesses said it began when Robert Whiley showed up at a church on Grant Avenue and North Highland Street and began attacking his wife.

    2. The roads belong to the people, not just cars!

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      Hearing set on fines vs. jail time for motorists who kill vulnerable users on Wisconsin roads

      Motorists who kill on Wisconsin roads - like Andrew Yang, Kyle Dieringer and Michael Gustman - would face criminal charges and jail time, not just citations and fines, under a bill scheduled for a public hearing in Madison on Wednesday.

    3. From Clay County last night (9/17/2013)

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      Man injured in Clay County hit-and-run

      CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a possible hit-and-run in Clay County that left David Miller 24-years-old in critical condition. According to police the Clay County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call stating someone was laying in the roadway on County Road 220 just west of College Drive.

    4. Not just an issue for Florida...

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      Majority of motorists not charged, keep licenses when found or suspected to be at fault

      Patricia Molinaro's husband, Joe, was 10 minutes into his morning ritual - a mile-and-a-half walk from his suburban Bay Area home to Wal-Mart - when her phone rang. It was a neighbor. Joe had been in an accident. Patricia rushed to help him, only to find she was too late.

    5. Widow of cyclist Aaron Cohen gives emotional talk at MADD event....

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      A DUI hit and run homicide and he gets only a year in jail???

      http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/25/3522434/widow-of-cyclist-aaron-cohen-gives.html

      Widow of cyclist Aaron Cohen gives emotional talk at MADD event

      miami Patty Cohen spoke with a tremble in her voice to a room of about 200 Thursday night. She was talking about her husband, Aaron Cohen, a bicyclist who had been killed by a driver on the Rickenbacker Causeway.

    6. FHP: Bicyclist dies after struck by SUV in Ponte Vedra Beach

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      FHP: Bicyclist dies after struck by SUV in Ponte Vedra Beach

      PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Authorities say a bicyclist is dead after being struck by a small SUV on State Route A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach. The 26-year-old man, Sean Michael Stevens, was hit while he was riding on S.R. A1A near Marlin Avenue just after 9 p.m. Thursday.

    7. Man in his 50s or 60s hit, killed by city bus downtown

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      Man in his 50s or 60s hit, killed by city bus downtown

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla - A pedestrian was hit and killed by a city bus Saturday night in downtown Jacksonville, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Investigators were called to the intersection of Beaver and Newnan Streets around 8:45 p.m. Detective J.D.

    8. Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Okay, so I have to wonder... if the people committing these "hit & run" assaults on pedestrians and cyclist are "running"; are they are running because they know what they have done is wrong.... then why isn't law enforcement treating it as "wrong"?

      http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/bicyclist-injured-in-hit-and-run-1.177994

      Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run

      MIRAMAR BEACH - A bicyclist suffered serious injuries Thursday night in a hit-and-run crash. Onur Guler, 21, of Miramar Beach, was riding west along with paved shoulder of U.S. Highway 98 near the Ponce de Leon Street intersection when he was struck from behind by a vehicle, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

    9. I have to wonder...

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      I sometime wonder if we're not our own worst enemy, no lights @ 9:00 PM? We need to be smarter out there... and (IMHO) LEO needs to start ticketing cyclist who violate the law.

      http://bit.ly/18CBBHO

      Bicyclist killed in accident near S.R. 46

      Troopers are investigating a crash that killed a bicyclist Monday night. Get breaking news alerts sent to your email It happened near the intersection of State Road 46 and West Airport Boulevard just after 9:30 p.m. Troopers said 37-year-old Tracey Doe changed lanes and was hit by an approaching car driven by 19-year-old Christopher Stallings.

    10. Bicyclist killed in Coral Springs crash

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      Bicyclist killed in Coral Springs crash

      A young woman was killed in a car crash while riding her bicycle in Coral Springs Friday afternoon. Sarra Heike, 22, was hit by a northbound Chevrolet Malibu as she tried to cross University Drive near Northwest 25th Court on her bike just after 4 p.m., Coral Springs police told Miami Herald news partner WFOR CBS4.

    11. He stopped... but that's all he did.

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Yes he stopped, but that's all he did. If you watch the video there was a line of vehicles behind the service truck. If you were in one of these cars and may have seen the incident please contact FHP or JSO.

      http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/article/320372/3/Cyclist-search-for-Baymeadows-hit-and-run-driver

      Cyclist searching for Baymeadows hit-and-run Driver

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Michelle Mullinix is an avid cyclist, and believes a good student of road safety. "I felt I was doing everything right," she said. Mullinix is now the victim of a hit-and-run accident while riding her bicycle. "I had bruised ribs, a concussion, bruising, abrasions," said Mullinix.

    12. Reached 1,500 signatures
    13. The count continues to climb

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Since starting this petition I have been scouring news from across Florida and this (tragically) makes eight cyclist killed in the State of Florida in the last month.

      http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-bicyclist-killed-winter-park-savage-20130716,0,7250057.story

    14. Seven in less than a month?

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      This makes 7 people killed in ‪#‎Florida‬ while riding bikes in less than a month. ‪#‎cycling‬ ‪#‎RIP‬ http://t.co/vulGG2HRhw

      A 63-Year-Old Woman Cycling Up U.S. 1 Is Killed in Collision With SUV Near Belle Terre | FlaglerLive - Your News Service for Flagler County News Palm Coast News Bunnell Flagler Beach Beverly Beach and Marineland

      FlaglerLive | July 10, 2013 Deborah I. Dunn, 63, was killed Wednesday evening as she rode her bicycle on U.S. 1 just south of the intersection with Belle Terre Boulevard when she was struck from behind by a Nissan pick-up. Dunn was pronounced dead at the scene by a Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedic at 7:05 p.m.

    15. Maybe some justice?

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      This is a follow up to Monday's posting "One person dead, another injured after robbery attempts" (see below)

      Investigators have arrested Eddie Postway & Cyrus Benjamin, both are charged with felony murder in the death of 56-year-old (cyclist) John Sikes. Sikes' family said he was out for an early morning bike ride when was hit.

      I'm not a lawyer, but IMO I feel that if they hadn't killed Mr. Sikes while in the commission of other crimes they would not be facing facing "felony murder" charges.

      http://www.news4jax.com/police-arrest-2-in-westside-crime-spree/-/475982/20904430/-/ninjjoz/-/index.html

      Police arrest 2 in Westside crime spree

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police in Jacksonville have arrested two men in connection with two robberies and a double hit-and-run that left one man dead Sunday morning, and charged them with felony murder. Investigators arrested 23-year-old Eddie Postway on Sunday on charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm and theft of a firearm.

    16. This makes 6 cyclist killed in Florida in less than a month!

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Really? How many people have to die before laws are changed and people who drive cars will START SEEING CYCLIST?

      http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Bicyclist-Struck-and-Killed-in-Tamarac-BSO-214875131.html

      Bicyclist Struck and Killed in Tamarac: BSO

      NBC6.com A bicyclist was struck and killed by a truck in Tamarac Tuesday night, authorities said. The incident happened in the 6300 block of University drive when the driver of a Ford Ranger collided with a man in his 60s who was riding his bicycle, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

    17. What's up (with that) doc?

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      If there was ever a need for a VRU law... this is it! This guy used his car as a weapon, and should not be behind the wheel!

      Mt. Sinai Doctor Accused of Leaving Accident After Hitting Biker During Friday's Critical Mass http://t.co/NfD2WZpxaV

      Mt. Sinai Doctor Accused of Leaving Accident After Hitting Biker During Friday's Critical Mass

      Miami Police are investigating accusations that a local doctor hit a father and son with his car as he weaved...

    18. Jacksonville proves deadly for cyclist again...

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer
      One person dead, another injured after robbery attempts

      Jacksonville, FL - One person is dead and one other is in the hospital after an armed robbery, an attempted armed robbery, and traffic crash at multiple scenes near Wesconnett Blvd. Police were called to the post office near Wesconnett Blvd and 103rd St after a man was found unresponsive in the parking lot.

    19. Man held after hit-and-run with bicyclist in Melbourne

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      It is this type of behavior that a VRU law aims to correct. This driver should not be on the road!

      http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130701/NEWS01/130701002/Man-held-after-hit-run-bicyclist-Melbourne

      Man held after hit-and-run with bicyclist in Melbourne

      A 27-year-old bicyclist continues to recover after being struck by a suspected hit-and-run driver Sunday afternoon. The crash happened at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of the Wickham and Lake Washington roads.

    20. Vulnerable Road Users don't need to be on the road to get hurt...

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Vulnerable road users is anyone that are not *in* a motor vehicle...

      http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-06-24/story/man-wheelchair-hit-tractor-trailer

      Man in wheelchair hit by tractor trailer

      The Jacksonville Sheriffs Office is searching for a tractor trailer truck following a Monday morning accident that left a man in a wheelchair with life-threatening injuries at West 8th and North Pearl streets.The truck, with red cab and white cargo box, was making a right turn onto North Pearl Street when the accident occurred minutes before 11 a.m., police said.

    21. Another deadly weekend in Jacksonville for cyclist.

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Another weekend and much to my chagrin another cyclist dies in Florida. The article is sketchy on the details, but I can tell you that the street that this teen was killed on is not one that any cyclist should be on. It's dangerous even for motor vehicles.

      http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/Teen-bicyclist-killed-in-Saturday-night-crash/d8iUdQNHDkiuUqXJX0NNOQ.cspx

      Teen bicyclist killed in Saturday night crash

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A teenager was killed Saturday when trying to cross Blanding Boulevard on the Westside, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Troopers say Tyrone Kirksey, 17, was in the left northbound lane when a Cadillac Escalade driven by Myah Baker, 18, struck the bicyclist.

    22. Reached 1,000 signatures
    23. Pedestrians are Vulnerable Road Users Too!

      W. Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Be it a cyclist, pedestrian, someone on rollerblades, skateboard, or a Hoveround... This kind of carnage on Florida's streets has to stop!!

      http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Pedestrian-Killed-in-Hit-And-Run-Crash-in-Davie-212303481.html

      Pedestrian Killed in Hit-And-Run Crash in Davie

      NBC6.com Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a man in Davie early Thursday. The incident happened around midnight at N. 66th Avenue and Stirling Road. Witnesses said the man was walking across the street when he was struck by a car that fled the scene.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • thomas mannis BRADENTON, FL
      • 5 months ago

      LOVE ROAD BIKING AND HAVE HAD AN ACCIDENT THAT WAS A CARS FAULT

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cindy Tasset WILMSLOW, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 5 months ago

      I am a cyclist and pedestrian and driver, and expect all road users, but especially drivers of vehicles as they have the most potential for destruction, to be fully cautious and responsible toward other road users. Pedestrians and cyclists must get much more respect, right of way, and encouragement as these are the most environmentally & personally healthy ways to travel, and should be the safest. It is time to expect and demand more accountability and safety from all vehicle drivers.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • 5 months ago

      I travel frequently to Florida and believe that even tourist should be protected by the laws. Additionally, I have many family members and friends who reside in the state.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert Daines LANSDALE, PA
      • 5 months ago

      Would like to move to FL and continue to ride my bike in a safe environment.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Hugh Clarke STUART, FL
      • 5 months ago

      I am a cyclist and it's time Florida recognize that cyclists, among others, are vulnerable road users.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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