May Is Bicycle Safety Awareness Month

By on May 2, 2016 in Community Stories, WNDB News

bicycle road

Tallahassee, FL. – This May, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is reminding motorists to share the road with motorcycles and bicycles in recognition of Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness Month.

“Motorcycles and bicycles have all of the privileges, rights and responsibilities on the road as motorists,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “When you are behind the wheel, look out for one another. Follow the rules of the road and drive cautiously around motorcycles and bicycles.”

Preliminary data from 2015 shows the following:

“Drivers should always be alert and watch for motorcycles and bicycles,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Safety is FHP’s number one priority and it’s crucial that all drivers use caution around vulnerable road users.”



Bicycle Crashes

Bicycle Fatalities

2015 Florida Totals*

Crashes 9,914

Fatalities 554



*Source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles preliminary data as of March 28, 2016

While motorcycle crashes represented less than three percent of all crashes in 2015, motorcycle fatalities made up 19 percent of all traffic fatalities and 11 percent of all serious injuries. Florida is consistently one of the top three states in the country when looking at motorcycle fatality and crash data. Motorists are reminded never to share the lane with a motorcycle, maintain a four-second buffer zone between you and a motorcyclist and increase space when encountering bad weather and road conditions. Do not follow too closely behind a motorcycle or bicycle.

In 2015, bicycle crashes represented two percent of all crashes, approximately five percent of fatalities and about 4.5 percent of all serious injuries. In Florida, a bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and has all of the privileges, rights and responsibilities on public roads (except for expressways) that a motor vehicle operator does. Of the bicycle fatalities in 2015, the bicyclist was listed as the contributing cause 79 percent of the time. Motorists and bicyclists should refer to the official Florida Driver License Handbook for more safety tips about operating on roadways.

This month, DHSMV is partnering with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association and Ride Smart Florida to remind motorists that there is only one road and we must share it.

“Florida’s weather is inviting to motorcyclists from around the country and Florida has a lot of motorcyclists on the road, so it is important for all motorists to watch out for each other,” said Lora Hollingsworth, Chief Safety Officer for the Florida Department of Transportation. “From two wheels to eighteen wheels, we all have the responsibility to drive safely and share the road.”

“The first objective of our Florida Sheriffs is to protect the citizens that we serve,” said Sheriff Sadie Darnell, Alachua County Sheriff. “As the President of the Florida Sheriffs Association, and on behalf of our Florida Sheriffs, I fully endorse and support the DHSMV’s motorcycle and bicycle safety campaign that will take place during the month of May.”

“Sharing the space on our roads with bicycles and motorcycles is essential to safe and responsible driving,” said Winter Park Police Chief Brett Railey, president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “The FPCA wants to see both drivers and riders throughout Florida look out for each other.”


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.