I Have a Dream... That All Cyclists Will Be Able to Ride in Safety

Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike GuyIn 1963, Martin Luther King electrified the civil rights movement in the United States with his famous "I Have a Dream" speech during a march on Washington D. C.  While holding no visions of grandeur, as a cyclist and a lawyer who has represented injured cyclists and their families for years, I also have a dream:

One Day…
All of us will be able to ride in safety throughout our communities using protected bicycle lanes and other cycling and pedestrian friendly infrastructure.

Our civic leaders and transportation planners will recognize building protected bicycle lanes throughout a community does far more than enhance the quality of life for bicyclists; rather they are a more powerful driver of economic growth than our past emphasis on simply moving more cars quickly through our cities.

Drivers will respect the rights and safety of every cyclist and pedestrian.

We will move beyond an ineffective and unenforceable 3 foot rule and adopt a Move Over law requiring drivers to slow down and give cyclists and pedestrians the entire lane.

Our legislature will recognize the menace of distracted drivers and make it unlawful (with a meaningful penalty) to text and drive or otherwise be distracted behind the wheel.

Our legislature will recognize the most dangerous activity the average person does every day is operate a motor vehicle and will require every driver to have mandatory bodily injury limits of at least $100,000 to protect those whom they harm.

Our police officers will not arrive at a bicycle collision scene automatically assuming the cyclist was at fault, looking for the first piece of evidence to confirm this presumption.

The minority in the cycling community who willfully disregard the traffic laws we are all called upon to obey will get the message and begin to enhance our standing with drivers.

Anyone who chooses to use a bicycle for transportation, pleasure or exercise will not give a second thought to being exposed to the danger of distracted, careless, willfully indifferent and uninsured drivers because those concerns will no longer exist.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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