Deaths and injuries to bicycle riders spiked upward in the U.S. from 2010 to 2011 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (download PDF study). This is the reversal of a trend which saw bicycling deaths dropping in the United States over the past 20 years. Just released statistics from the National Highway Transportation Association (NHTSA) prove that bicycling injuries and deaths have increased. In April, 2013, NHTSA released statistics about bicycling deaths and injuries occurring in 2011. Bicycling deaths have increased by almost 9% from 2010 to 2011, while pedestrian deaths increased about 3%. By comparison, deaths to occupants of vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.) decreased by more than 7,500 between 2010 and 2011.
I am elated to tell you last night, the Jacksonville (Fl) City Council approved Ordinance 2013-155 (link to PDF). The Ordinance establishes a full time employee known as the “bicycle/pedestrian coordinator” for the City of Jacksonville.
Florida Governor Scott signed a proclamation on March 13th declaring March 2013 as "Florida Bicycle Month". He says increased bicycle usage promotes heath, helps people without access to cars, supports transportation alternatives, has motivated tourism, and has contributed significantly to economic development. He says the bicycle "plays an important role in the lives of millions of Floridians." He says “the Florida Department of Transportation and many local governments throughout the state have adopted goals and policies to develop a multimodal transportation system that supports transportation alternatives, including the bicycle.”
We used to claim that only our teenagers communicated largely by text messaging. Now, the world speaks through texting. In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent – in just one month! Sadly, many of those were sent or read by people operating vehicles. Furthermore, most drivers admit that they at least answer phone calls received and continue to drive.
A proposal will be submitted tonight to the Jacksonville City Council to waive the collection of “mobility fees” proposed in Jacksonville's 2030 Mobility Plan from developers who are building new construction, such as office buildings, apartments, shopping centers, etc. Please tell your city council members ASAP that you support the collection of mobility fees!
Jacksonville, Florida (my home town) is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. for walking and bicycling, and must make drastic improvements.
Jacksonville was deemed the 3rd most dangerous city in the United States for bicyclists and pedestrians by a 2011 study called "Dangerous By Design", which indicted Jacksonville’s faulty road and infrastructure design, lack of adequate spending and enforcement of laws, lack of adequate policies and government staffing, and lack of programs supporting safety. This disproportionately endangers our minorities. Hispanics and African Americans drive less and walk more. 20 percent of African American and 14 percent of Hispanic households live without a car. Hispanics walk 45% more and African Americans 26% more trips than whites.
In Florida, we citizens are in peril of losing one of our most important safeguards to our individual liberties and rights – our independent judiciary. Our Florida Courts are under real attack. The wrong vote during this November 6th election could overthrow the power of our constitution, separation of powers, and the way our Florida government has worked effectively since it began.
Florida's big cities, specifically Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami, were deemed the most dangerous cities in the US for bicyclists and pedestrians. Dangerous by Design's study based the results off faulty designs of roads and infrastructure, lack of adequate spending and enforcement of laws, lack of adequate policies and government staffing, and last but not least, lack of programs supporting improved safety.
As a long time cyclist and attorney representing victims of cycling crashes, my mind and heart are always with the injured cyclist. But frequently I am asked by cycling clubs how they can sponsor and operate rides without risking bankruptcy caused by an injured cyclist suing them. As an informed and dutiful member of your local cycling club, you should have a basic understanding of your club’s potential legal liabilities and how the club can best manage these risks. The term, “liability”, is when the club becomes legally and financially responsible to another party. “Risk management” is identifying, monitoring and then minimizing the chances that some event causing liability to the club will occur.
The club will wish to protect itself and its officers from owing money to another person or party. Your club may want to have a member assigned and responsible to oversee the club’s risk management on behalf of the club, just as the club has officers, members responsible for membership, and ride leaders.
I am excited to have the opportunity to be the exclusive attorney sponsor of the University of Florida Cycling Team, one of the largest and most successful collegiate cycling programs in the country.