Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oviedo Police Chief Breaks Out Common Refrain: You May Be Legally Correct But A Car Might Hit You Anyway

By now, you may have heard about the police officer in Oviedo, Fla. -- an Orlando area suburb -- who advised a bicyclist in the middle of a sub-standard lane to move over to the side or ride on the sidewalk.

Well, the bicyclist said, no way, and cited the statute that allowed him to be in the traffic lane when the lane is too narrow for a car and a bicycle to be side-by-side in the traffic lane. The Orlando Weekly did a nice job wrapping up the case.

There were other TV and news reports on the case and I contacted the police chief in that city to please advise his officers to know the latest in bicycle safety and to even check out CyclingSavvy for the best practices in vehicular bicycling.

Oviedo Police Chief Jeffrey Chudnow and I exchanged several polite emails and his last one included this particular line that I have heard from other police as well:

"I have seen too many bicyclist, who may be legally correct, end up on the worse end of a vehicle/bicycle crash."

He's basically saying, sure, follow the law, but I think you're going to get whacked by a car anyway.

How about educating motorists from the get-go about respecting the road rights of bicyclists and teaching drivers of motorized vehicles to slow down, not mess with cell phones and to be patient on the road and crack down on motorists who don't comply.

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