New ‘Vulnerable Road User’ Law Being Considered

Bikers and pedestrians may be getting some extra consideration in Florida law if a new measure on its way through the Florida Legislature passes.

Under this new law, those who use the roads and are not driving a car or a truck would receive a new designation — “vulnerable road user”.  This includes not only pedestrians and bicyclists, but skateboarders, horse-drawn carriages and motorcycles as well.

The proposed law is comprised of two bills, SB 1312 and HB 1159, and put forward as a bipartisan effort by a Republican Senator and a Democrat Representative. If passed, causing serious bodily harm to one of these vulnerable road users would result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge against the offender. Anyone lawfully using the road without the enclosed protection of a car or truck would apply under this new law, from wheelchair users to tractor drivers.

Should a “vulnerable road user” be killed, the penalty would become a first-degree demeanor, meaning the offender could lose the use of a driver’s license for at least one year, in addition to any other penalties the driver might face.

These bills are not the only attempt to protect the more vulnerable users of Florida roads. The Hit-and-Run Act is already moving through the process toward becoming a law. This would raise the current penalty for committing a hit-and-run offense from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony. Any driver who leaves the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury would face the complete revocation of a driver’s license, along with at least four years in prison.

If you have been injured in an accident, whether as a pedestrian or a driver, our firm is there to help. Give us a call and we’ll help you achieve the best possible legal outcome for your particular circumstances.