MIAMI, Florida – Josh Jones Law, P.A., a personal injury law firm located in South Florida, revisits the passage of Florida Senate Bill 950, titled “Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety,” introduced by state Representative Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland) and co-authored with State Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation).
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Bill was unanimously approved by the Florida House and Senate, signed by the Governor, and took effect on July 1, 2021. Among other things, the Bill revises and provides requirements for drivers of motor vehicles overtaking bicycles, other non-motorized vehicles, or electric bicycles; requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to conduct an annual awareness and safety campaign; revises and provides requirements for persons riding bicycles in groups; and requires the Class E driver license examination to address bicycle and pedestrian safety.
“I am pleased to have successfully passed this bill with Senator Book to make our roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. By practicing road safety, we can lower the number of accidents in Florida so that people can enjoy biking and walking outdoors safely,” Hunschofsky said in a statement.
This much-needed Bill could not have come at a better time since Florida is statistically one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists, with only South Carolina and Delaware being more dangerous. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) crash dashboard, there were a total of 8,117 pedestrian crashes between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, resulting in 6,304 injuries and 715 fatalities.
Although the Bill was only enacted in July 2021, FLHSMV’s current data analysis shows a concerning trend in hit-and-run crashes in Florida. The total number of hit-and-run crashes in the state increased by more than 17% in 2021 compared to 2020. In the same comparison, fatalities from hit-and-runs increased by more than 18%, and serious bodily injuries increased by 20%.
“While we hope that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety bill will ultimately reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities, we recognize that pedestrian accidents will still occur because of distracted and inebriated motor vehicle drivers, resulting in serious injuries and even death to bicyclists and pedestrians,” says Founder and Managing Attorney Josh Jones.
Additionally, 169 of the hit-and-run fatalities in 2021 were pedestrians, and 45 were bicyclists, accounting for 70% of all hit-and-run fatalities last year. In contrast, in 2020, 140 pedestrians and 27 bicyclists were killed in hit-and-run accidents.
According to the Homicide Investigation Tracking System, the Florida Highway Patrol investigated 131 hit-and-run fatalities in 2021, up from 124 in 2020, with 91 still active. The FLHSMV Division’s Active Hit-and-Run Cases webpage contains current information about open hit-and-run cases.
Jones also adds that “the crash statistics are concerning, and we are clearly not headed in the right direction when it comes to preventing pedestrian accidents. At Josh Jones Law, we have extensive experience representing pedestrian accident victims. We handle all legal aspects of a client’s case, including determining the amount or type of compensation a client may be entitled to from the party or parties responsible for their injuries.”
About Josh Jones Law, P.A.
At Josh Jones Law, P.A., South Florida Personal Injury Attorney Joshua R. Jones and his team help injured Floridians get compensation from large insurance companies after serious injury accidents. We serve clients throughout the Greater Miami area, including Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Hollywood, Miramar, North Miami, Miami Gardens, Miami, and Homestead. Visit our website at https://www.joshjoneslaw.com/ or give us a call at (305) 239-4878 for a free case evaluation.