Safer Conditions for Cyclist, Motorist, and pedestrians.
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Dear Florida Legislators,
As you may have heard just yesterday a fellow cyclist has died and many more have been critically injured as a result of vehicular homicide in Broward County just west of the city of Weston on SR 84. This is the last of a series of deaths and series injuries caused by negligent drivers that are paying attention to everything but driving their vehicles safely. As a road user of both on motor vehicles and human power vehicles. I have been witnessing and have suffered several of these accidents and related instances where drivers, distracted mainly by their cellular devices while driving, have become unable to safely operate their vehicle and have caused an accident. One just have to look out the window while you are onboard a car in a highway to see how dangerous the situation has become. I challenge you to count how many people have their phone on their hand talking, ore even more dangerous texting, watching a video, taking a selfie while their vehicle is going at over 55mph. Those people are not capable of fast reaction in the event of an emergency to safely maneuver and advert an accident. This is why every morning and every evening you have more and more pileups of mass transit accidents, and more of those causing critical injuries or death.
According to the FDOT 2016 “Safety and Secure Travel” report:
Fatalities due to lane departure and intersection crashes account for 69 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Fatalities involving vulnerable road users in 2015 increased over the prior year—pedestrian fatalities increased from 606 to 632; motorcyclist fatalities increased from 449 to 583; and bicyclist fatalities increased from 135 to 153.
This trend is ever increasing because as Floridians we have failed to realized the impact of handheld technology and in particular, cellular devices, have had a tremendous impact on the way we interact with the road and with our vehicles. We have failed to update/renovate/incorporate new legislation to help mitigate this challenge and avert this crisis that has already claimed so many lives.
As an example of effective legislation that was resistant to passing for many years and that have saved countless lives on the road I cite the following form the same source the FDOT 2016 “Safety and Secure Travel” report:
“Safety belt usage continued to climb, improving to 89.4 percent statewide—almost one point higher than the national average.”
This shows that road conditions and people’s safety can be improved by a simple measure that has become second nature to all drivers in the state and around the country.
This is why I’m requesting the following changes and/or inclusions to Florida Law:
The addition of “cyclist” and other “vulnerable road users” to the “Florida Move Over Law” a law that has already protected countless law enforcement and emergency personnel from injury and or death.
The passing of a law that prohibits the action of handling a cellular devise with your hands while operating a motor vehicle.
The treatment of such violations as it where or similar in severity as a DIU violation.
Finally I leave you to think on the lives of the families of those whom have suffered these tragedies and especially this recent one. Imagine if your family was the one affected by this meaningless death this close to the holidays. This simple changes to traffic law will ensure that there are measures in place to prevent and prosecute these incidents in the future, and provide new drivers with rules to follow in order to get their driver’s license. I urge you to act as soon as possible because this can no longer be tolerated.
Andres E. Estevez
Concerned Florida Citizen and Cyclist
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