When it comes to Florida car accidents, many experts agree that good signage can help prevent accidents by alerting drivers to upcoming hazards and obstacles. However, does the same logic about good signage hold true when trying to prevent Florida bicycle accidents? The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has suggested removing 40% of bicycle signs in Longboat Key, a move that bicyclists claim is dangerous for their safety.
The Town Commission has been receiving letters from both residents and bicyclists about the bicycle signs. Some residents feel that the signs make the area less attractive, while some bicyclists believe that the signs are vital for their safety. Police Chief Al Hogle has stated that staying alert is more important than signage and agrees with the suggestion to reduce signs.
Bicyclists point out that Florida already has a high rate of bicycle accidents. In the last five years, there have been 35 Longboat Key car accidents involving bicycles. Another Florida community, Lakeland, has actually increased its signage for bicycle safety, adding several ‘3 Feet — It’s the Law’ signs near areas popular with bicyclists. Longboat Key bicyclists say they would like to see a similar commitment from their community.
Under Florida law [(Sections 316.003(2), (10) and 316.2065(1), F.S.)], bicycles are essentially treated much the same way as any vehicles on the road. Bicyclists must obey traffic rules as well as regulations for bicycles. Opponents of additional bicycle signage note that car drivers are not given additional signage in order to stay safe.
According to the FDOT, there are 99 sign posts with 126 signs related to bicycles in the areas in question in Longboat Key. The FDOT has proposed reducing the signs to 55 separate posts and 94 signs related to bicycles along the same area. Under the proposed changes, the signs would be one mile apart and areas which are considered an especial risk to Longboat Key bicyclists would have a maximum of 16 signs.
If you have been injured in a Florida bicycle accident, contact the experienced and compassionate legal team at the Flaxman Law Group before you make any decisions about your case. With successful cases completed in Miami, Homestead, Hollywood, and throughout Southern Florida, the Flaxman Law Group has extensive experience in helping plaintiffs. Call us today to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case.