According to Bay News 9, Pinellas County bicyclists are facing direct safety hazards while lawfully riding in bicycle lanes, especially along Ulmerton Road. What’s the reason? Road debris in the bike lanes.
Avid bicyclists, like Jerry Powell, are becoming increasingly more concerned with the debris in the roadway that is forcing them into oncoming traffic; he personally refers to Ulmerton Road as “The Suicide Route.” He said “The bike lanes are great except that’s where all the glass, road debris and screws build up. You get so many flat tires and it forces you so close to the traffic that it kind of defeats the purpose of the bike lanes.”
Florida law requires, “[a]ny person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. . .” Fla. Stat. 316.2065(5)(a) (emphasis added). Although the law goes on to allow for certain measures to be taken by the cyclist when avoiding “surface hazards;” the safety of the bicyclist could still be in jeopardy when unkempt roadways and unobservant drivers combine to create a dangerous situation. Jerry Powell said, “I worry more about somebody texting on a cell phone and looking down, so I try to be as far over in the bike lane away from traffic as I can be. But again, that’s where all the road debris is and you cannot stay over in the safest part of the bike lane, you have to stay close to the vehicles.”
Although you may follow all the bike safety rules and regulations under the law, someone on the roadway may not be as safe as you are. For further information regarding the rights of bicyclist or duties on the roadway, including additional safety information, visit the Florida Bicycle Association webpage.
If you, a family member, or a friend is injured in a bicycle accident because of the negligence of another driver or hazardous roadways, speak with an attorney about your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes have been caring for clients in the Tampa Bay area for over 55 years. Contact us today!
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril, & Noyes, P.A. have been for clients after car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, and other personal injury matters since 1955. Don’t try to handle your case on your own. Benefit from the experience of the attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes. Contact us Today!