PUNTA GORDA — You may see more police mounted on bicycles in Punta Gorda this week.
The department wants to spread awareness about a batch of laws regarding cyclists' safety on Florida roads that went into effect July 1.
The changes as described by Punta Gorda police on their Facebook page are as follows:
- 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.
There are also requirements for an education and awareness campaign. The State of Florida will add bicycle safety questions to the bank of questions for driver’s license exams.