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Strategic Safety Planning in Florida


Personal Injury

Over the past decade, there has been a concerted effort in Florida, both at state and local levels, to address safety issues related to our roadways. More recently, efforts have shifted to specific problems faced by vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians. This shifting can be largely attributed to the overwhelming amount of statistical data demonstrating the need for more comprehensive planning to address safety concerns throughout the state.

Bicycling collisions in particular can be extremely devastating. We have all seen the unpleasant media depictions of such accidents showing photographs of a mangled bicycle in a roadway, and thought, how tragic. No one ever expects that they or a loved might be a victim of a similar accident. As bicycle accident attorneys, we understand the disastrous results that can occur when a motorist collides with a bicyclist. However, we remain optimistic that change is at work. Through working together to share our roadways, by promoting safety and awareness with community planning and statewide initiatives, we can decrease risk to vulnerable road users.

Approved in 2006, the Florida Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a “roadmap developed by the people of Florida to save lives and prevent injuries on our highways.” The goal of the SHSP is “to improve the safety of Florida’s surface transportation system by achieving a five percent annual reduction in the rate of fatalities and serious injuries beginning in 2007.” In 2012, the plan was modified to address traffic crash categories, such as aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving, intersection and lane departure crashes, and vulnerable road users.

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Recognition of the continuing problem associated with accidents involving vulnerable users, led to the development of the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan (PBSSP) in 2013. The plan, which has been promoted with the slogan ‘Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident,’ is “to provide a comprehensive strategy to address pedestrian and bicycle safety issues by identifying goals, objectives, strategies, tasks, and performance measures for key program areas.” The following emphasis areas were provided in the plan:

    • Data, Analysis, and Evaluation
    • Driver Education and Licensing
    • Highway and Traffic Engineering
    • Law Enforcement and Emergency Services
    • Communication Program
    • Outreach Program
    • Legislation, Regulation, and Policy

As accident attorneys, we have witnessed, far too often, the suffering experienced by the victims of bicycle and pedestrian accidents. We are pleased to see that Florida is addressing long known safety issues within our state. Yet at the same time, we are also aware that, as with the implementation of most planning efforts, it will take time to see a significant impact from such efforts.

In the meantime, accidents involving vulnerable road users, whether bicyclist, pedestrian, or motorcyclists, continue to remain a problematic concern in Florida. If you or a loved one were injured in an  accident, it is important to protect your legal rights to financial recovery by discussing the accident with an experienced personal injury attorney. The Gainesville Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. have the resources, support staff, knowledge and skill, necessary to help you and your family attain the compensation deserved.