Punta Gorda Police Department
Punta Gorda, Florida
Governor DeSantis signed into law a bill designed to improve bicycle safety. The Punta Gorda Police Department Volunteer Bike Unit will be out ensuring that the community is educated on these changes. The following changes went into effect on July 1, 2021:
-Vehicles who drive left of center in order to overtake a bicycle may do so even in a no-passing zone as long as the vehicle is able to provide the bicyclist 3 feet of clearance. If the vehicle cannot provide 3 feet of clearance they must wait until they can safely pass.
-A vehicle turning right while passing a bicyclist can do so only if the bicyclist is at least 20 feet from the intersection and at a safe distance from the vehicle.
-Bicyclists riding in groups must come to a complete stop at stop signs, but then may proceed through the intersection in groups of 10 or fewer. Motorists are required to let the group pass before proceeding through the intersection.
-Bicyclists may temporarily ride two abreast on roadways with substandard-width lanes (the majority of roadways in Florida) to avoid hazards in the roadway or to overtake another bicyclist.
-This bill also includes requirements for an education and awareness campaign and requires that the State of Florida add bicycle safety questions to the bank of questions for driver’s license exams.