Thanks to our friends at the Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) for their advocacy and the following update…
The 2020 Florida Legislative session wrapped up on Thursday, March 19, 2020. One bill was ultimately left on the table. Perhaps it was the immediate and necessary attention to nationwide health concerns involving COVID-19 that kept certain bills from advancing during this session. Another reason could be organized opposition. While House Bill 1371 passed by a wide margin, it’s Senate companion SB100 did not advance past the Senate Appropriations Committee. Some experts predicted the bill would have forced the removal of many Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) across the state.
This emotionally charged legislation had its roots in Brevard County, where a driver hit and killed as 12-year-old girl crossing A1A to go to home from the beach. She was using a midblock crosswalk with a recently installed RRFB. The proposed legislation prescribed that rapid flashing yellow beacons must be changed to red. If not, the RRFBs would be removed.
Even though the legislative initiative failed to advance during the 2020 session, there is always the chance legislation could be reintroduced during the 2021 legislative session, or at a future special session.
These insights by Bike/Walk Central Florida Vice President Rick Geller offer a well-rounded perspective, when viewed from the lens of the immediate past, present and future. This issue bears watching.