Government

Bill would aim to protect bicyclists, pedestrians

An Escambia County online survey shows aggressive, distracted drivers, lack of bike lanes among chief traffic complaints.

A Senate Republican on Friday filed a proposal that would take a series of steps aimed at better protecting people who walk, bicycle, ride animals or travel in other ways along the sides of roads.

The proposal (SB 908), filed by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, would include steps aimed at making sure motorists leave an adequate amount of space while passing what the bill calls “vulnerable” users of public right-of-way.

Similarly, it would seek to make sure motorists leave enough distance before making right turns in front of such users.

Among other things, the bill also would create a first-degree misdemeanor for motorists who “harass, taunt or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of a person riding a bicycle.”

The proposal will be considered during the legislative session that starts March 3.