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New laws for Florida bicyclists in 2013

6:26 AM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Bicycling around town and to the beach may seem like a good idea but new laws in 2013 will limit what you can do when you're on two wheels.

"Well if there's no lanes then I've always considered a bike as a vehicle as well and follow the regular traffic laws that cars do I guess," says Scott Simmons , a Jax Beach bicyclist.

Bicyclists across the state are now required by state law to stay within the bicycle lane when traveling on a roadway less than the normal speed of traffic - if there is no bicycle lane - they are required to stay to the right-hand curb or closest to the edge of the roadway.

The law under Florida's house bill 1223 goes into effect January 1st and will have a big effect on the beaches - where many use their bikes as a means for travel.

"We weigh things out when we go out, are we going to drive, or ride our bikes, we're going to ride our bikes," says Brent Parris, Jax Beach bicyclist.

Some say the lack of bike lanes near the beach nightlife is a growing concern - and these new laws may help add more guidelines for bike riders.

"I think it makes roads a little safer, I think sometimes drivers are a little distracted so if you have a bicyclist who is weaving in and out of the bike lane it puts them at risk," says Rose Osachy , Jax Beach resident .

Bicyclists are at even higher risks during holidays like New Years due to drunk drivers. While going through a stack of JSO police reports we found that at least 20 arrests in Jacksonville on New Year's Eve were alcohol related - about 10 of those were DUIs. And even those who are bicycling under the influence can be arrested.

"A lot of younger people and even people my age will bar hop up first street and actually it's a lot of fun so I can understand that but also it is a safety issue," says Osachy.

As you continue your festivities on New Years Day make sure you're not bicycling or driving under the influence. Here's a list of designated driver services in the Jacksonville area:

JACKSONVILLE
Designated Drivers of Jacksonville
Phone: 904-639-5250/904-639-5250

Hours: 24/7
Details: A driver drives you home in your own vehicle; bar hopping drivers are also available - $55 for first 20 miles, $1.75 per mile after.
http://www.designateddriversofjax.com/id3.html

DUI Patrol
Phone: 904-655-4666/904-655-4666

Hours:7p.m.-2:30a.m Sunday-Thursday;
4p.m.-3a.m. Friday-Saturday
Details: A driver drives you home in your own vehicle, $40 for first 12 miles, $1.99 each additional mile.
http://www.drinkinganddriving.org/tools/duipatrol.pdf

Safe Ride Solutions
Hours: 24/7
Details: For corporations only with membership - fees apply
https://www.saferidesolutions.net/index.html

Be My DD
Phone: 1-877-823-6933/1-877-823-6933

Hours: 24/7
Details: A driver takes you home in your own vehicle
http://www.bemydd.com/our_services

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