Districtwide Discussions

Because of numerous requests for our Districtwide Discussion presentations, we are including them below to serve you better, our District Two Traffic Safety Team members. For those who have been following these districtwide hot topics, it’s been a beneficial conversation. While looking at these slides offers a glimmer into the ongoing dialogue, it’s not the same as being present and a part of the discussions.

Thank you to everyone who has joined the conversation across our 18-county district. There has been a lot of valuable input, experience, and expertise from team members. View Florida statutes, local guidelines, ordinances, news articles, reports, and materials submitted by other team members. Please share any new data or information.

November Presentation – School Zone Camera Enforcement and Traffic Safety Roadway Concerns

November’s Districtwide Discussion included a follow-up about the new Florida law allowing camera enforcement of school zone speed limits. FDOT District Two Traffic Operations Engineer, Jim Hannigan, discussed school zone camera enforcement requirements and guidelines, which will be finalized by the end of December. Additionally, an in-depth presentation reviewed traffic safety roadway concerns, submissions, and the process within our Community Traffic Safety Teams in Northeast Florida.

School Zone Speed Detection Systems UPDATE:

Pursuant to Section 316.0776, Florida Statutes, the Department may approve the installation of School Zone Speed Detection Systems on the State Highway System.  Installations of these devices on the State Highway System must be authorized through a General Use Permit.  Please use the link below to access the website to read an overview of the process, the Placement and Installation Guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions, and Special Provisions that will be attached to the General Use Permit.  This process is like the process used for Automated License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems and Traffic Infraction Detectors (Red Light Running Cameras).  Please refer to this website occasionally because the documents may be updated as this process rolls out.

School Speed Detection System (fdot.gov)


Resources are compiled on these two web pages:

September Presentation – Ongoing Districtwide Discussions

In September, we had a productive dialogue about these ongoing electric micromobility device and golf cart concerns. We covered hot topics in the news (lithium-ion fire hazards and college campus bans on e-bikes/e-scooters), increased injury impacts, developing golf cart crossing, e-scooter research, and ideas for future discussions.


June Presentation – Continuing the Discussion on E-Mobility Devices and Golf Carts

June 2023 Districtwide Discussion Presentation

June’s Districtwide Discussion, Follow-Up on E-Mobility Devices and Golf Carts, we addressed the challenges of collecting data, local regulations, insurance and liability concerns, and designing for safe behaviors.


May Presentation – Golf Cart/LSV Concerns and Follow-Up on E-Mobility Devices

June 2023 Districtwide Discussion Presentation

In May, the Districtwide Discussion presentation introduced concerns in Northeast Florida about street-legal golf carts (low-speed vehicles). We also continued the discussion on the issues regarding electric mobility devices.


April Presentation – Let’s Talk About E-Bikes, E-Scooters, and E-Unicycles

April 2023 Districtwide Discussion Presentation

During the April Districtwide meeting presentation, we discussed the population growth in Florida and existing pedestrian and bicycle crash data. Data documenting e-bike and other electric mobility device crashes and injuries is needed. We looked at other states’ guidelines and local beach communities whom have established ordinances addressing e-bike usage.


This year, we began virtual, open discussion meetings on special topics with Andrea Atran, District Two Community Traffic Safety Program Manager. The goal is to encourage conversations on districtwide issues. The informal gathering is an excellent opportunity for members across our 18-county district to connect, ask questions, and share their expertise. In February, we reviewed safety grants. And in March, we discussed the history of the CTSP and the importance of engineering concerns. This led to concerns regarding micromobility – specifically, e-bikes and e-scooters.

Tackling these topics is a group effort. Bringing everyone together to address issues affecting our communities is what we are about. Additionally, we look forward to future Districtwide Discussions and new topics for collaboration.

Crash Data and 2022 Annual Report

This page includes the most recent FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) Annual Report and Crash Data Reports. Listed below, we provide crash facts for each of the 18 Northeast Florida counties in District Two. We also have combined districtwide totals. This resource is for our local Traffic Safety Team members, partners, and agencies.

CTSP Annual Report

A summary of last year’s Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program and combined crash facts from District Two. This resource may be used and shared among our Traffic Safety Team members, partners, and agencies. In addition to the crash facts for 12 Florida Strategic Highway Safety Plan emphasis areas, we highlight traffic safety efforts and community outreach in 2022 with overviews on topics addressed throughout the year. These reports are a fundamental evaluation tool as we work toward reducing injuries and deaths on our roadways. Together, we can make progress to achieve our target of ZERO.

2022 District Two Crash Data Summaries

The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) includes roadway, user behavior, and road user emphasis areas. The crash data includes total crashes, fatalities, and injuries for each emphasis area. This year, we changed the format to incorporate demographics and key factors in the crashes. We broke out the crashes by age and gender of the at-fault driver. Also included on each fact sheet are brief takeaway points. Click here to review crash data reports by county and from previous years.

INTERSECTION Crash Data – 2022 Roadway Crash Fact Reports
OCCUPANT PROTECTION Crash Data – 2022 User Behavior Crash Fact Reports
IMPAIRED DRIVING Crash Data – 2022 User Behavior Crash Fact Reports
DISTRACTED DRIVING Crash Data – 2022 User Behavior Crash Fact Reports
AGGRESSIVE DRIVING Crash Data – 2022 User Behavior Crash Fact Reports
BICYCLIST Crash Data – 2022 Road User Crash Fact Reports
PEDESTRIAN Crash Data – 2022 Road User Crash Fact Reports
MOTORCYCLIST Crash Data – 2022 Road User Crash Fact Reports
AGING DRIVER Crash Data – 2022 Road User Crash Fact Reports
TEEN DRIVER Crash Data – 2022 Road User Crash Fact Reports
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE Crash Data – 2022 Road User Crash Fact Reports

Northeast Florida County Data Resources

We have county crash data available with previous years’ summary reports. Our team materials page has additional resources, information, newsletters, and Florida reports. These resources evaluate and establish traffic safety concerns and trends in Northeast Florida. Our Community Traffic Safety Teams work to make safety improvements with the goal of reducing crashes and saving lives.

Golf Cart and Low-Speed Vehicle Safety

Golf Cart and Low-Speed Vehicle Safety has been an ongoing and increasing concern in FDOT District Two. These lower-speed vehicles are seen throughout Northeast Florida golf cart neighborhoods and RV resorts. Children are particularly vulnerable and more often injured in golf cart accidents than adults. These injuries include life-altering head, neck, or spine trauma. Compounding the issue, golf carts lack the safety features and protection that regular cars have.

New Florida Law Restricts Teen Golf Cart Drivers

In recent news, the age to drive a golf cart will increase in Florida. Governor DeSantis signed the new bill tightening restrictions for teens driving golf carts on May 11, 2023. It goes into effect on October 1, 2023. Representative Cyndi Stevenson, who represents parts of St. Johns, filed the HB 949 legislation, which The Florida Sheriff’s Association supported.

“As we adopt new options for mobility, safety regulations will also have to evolve,” Stevenson previously told First Coast News. “We are seeing more people in the ER with serious avoidable injuries. This bill is a common-sense way to reduce pain, suffering, trips to the ER, and even loss of life.”

In the new law, a golf cart may not be operated on public roads or streets by a person under 18 years of age unless they possess a valid learner’s driver license or valid driver license. This means a 15-year-old with a learner’s permit may drive a golf cart. Anyone who is 18 or older unless they possess a valid form of government-issued photographic identification. This violation of the law would include a noncriminal traffic infraction, similar to moving violations.

Reference Materials for the Golf Cart and Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) Safety Discussion

Safety Concerns and Studies:

LSV or Golf Cart Local Guidelines, County Ordinances, Florida Law, and National Education:

Rural RV Community Policies and Information Regarding Golf Cart Rules
IIHS/HLDI Low-Speed Vehicle Crash Tests
FLHSMV’s Guide to Owning LSVs
First Coast News: Should golf cart communities toughen their rules?

Golf Carts and LSVs in the News

E-Bike Safety Discussion

During our March 2023 districtwide engineering concern meeting, we discussed the history of the CTSP and the importance of addressing roadway concerns. This led to issues regarding micromobility, specifically electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric unicycles, and golf carts. We held an e-bike/scooter/unicycle safety discussion for our districtwide meeting in April. Our next districtwide discussion will cover golf cart safety. Undoubtedly, tackling these topics will take a group effort.

Safety Concerns for E-Bicycles, E-Scooters, and E-Unicycles

In 2022, we created a presentation on micromobility, discussing terms, usage, and safety challenges nationally and in Northeast Florida. This general information is a great starting point for our e-devices safety discussion. Please take a moment to review the resource links below. Check out input from CTST member Brian Benwick of the North Florida Bicycle Club. Also, please read the approach to safety written by CTST member Antonia Donnelly.

Reference Materials for the E-Bike/Scooter/Unicycle Safety Discussion –

Amid growing popularity of electric devices, some university campuses are banning e-bikes and e-scooters due to safety concerns – primarily fire hazards and collisions with pedestrians.

E-Bike Insurance by Brian Benwick –

First, one of the main issues involving e-bike use and ownership should be mentioned… LITTLE OR NO INSURANCE. Click here for the Bicycle Floaters Chart. The liabilities arising from at-fault bicycle accidents can be covered automatically under one’s homeowner policy. However, they are not automatically covered if riding an e-bike. Neither the bike shops, parents, nor the kids who ride e-bikes are familiar with this issue. Generally, this makes e-micromobility somewhat of a public nuisance.

Updated 11/29/23: Markel’s specialty program, described in the chart, now has up to $300,000 maximum liability limit. This is good news because now, with the $300,000 limit chosen, your personal umbrella liability policy may recognize the underlying coverage and “dovetail” the e-bike cyclists’ coverage into your excess liability limits, albeit for an extra charge. You will probably need to submit a change application for approval first so that usage, driver information, e-bike policy number, limits and effective dates, along with a description of your e-bike with the serial number can all be reviewed by the personal umbrella underwriter.

Additional Points by Brian Benwick –

Secondly, we must consider the other types of micromobility before we can single out e-bikes for usage restrictions. Among bikes alone are road, mountain, gravel, cargo, commuter, unicycle, recumbent, elliptical, trikes, and more. And each of these categories more than likely has an e-bike version.  Hoverboards, skateboards, golf carts, scooters, segways, roller skates, wheelchairs, and others would also need to be considered.

Helmet requirements are another concern, as head injuries are devastating. Though not required by law, our club (NFBC) requires them for all participating riders, young or old. But I understand the hygiene issues involved in sharing helmets; we all don’t carry helmets with us wherever we go.

Having owned a class 1 and a class 3 e-bike for four years, I’d like to share a few observations:
  • E-bikes are heavy (ranging from 35 -60 pounds or more). This is too heavy for some young kids who cannot manage that kind of weight. So, when they fall on you, they do hurt more.
  • The cheaper brands have components that have not been engineered to withstand the higher torque. They also have rear hub-mounted motors that provide 100% power to the wheel(s), making their acceleration unpredictable.
  • Mid-mounted frame motors usually have torque sensors that are managed by the rider, allowing a greater benefit from the gearing and being more predictable.
  • E-bikes are much more expensive to maintain and repair. The point here being electrifying a bike that uses old and cheap technology is an engineering recipe for disaster when components fail during a ride. (Batteries have burned down apartment buildings in NY, and Raad e-bike bad front brakes have killed the e-bike occupants.)
  • In group rides with pacelines, e-bikes can be helpful when leading the group. They can make drafting easier for those who follow them when confronting wind and hills.
More thoughts about E-Bikes to consider:
  • The more expensive e-bikes have safer and better batteries with smart technology and “blow up” less frequently. But, if they are equipped with traditional drivetrains, they are much more expensive to maintain. Even more than motor vehicles per mile.
  • With a 20-mph maximum for classes 1 & 2, the e-bike rider will get dropped on a group ride where the more athletic non-e-bikers will reach and sustain 22-25+ mph. Getting dropped takes the fun out of the experience for those who bought the e-bike for recovery or are older.
  • Europe adopted e-bikes before the US, and they limit their e-bikes to 15 mph as a standard. I don’t recommend this for the road, but I favor a speed limit for sidewalks.
  • Many e-bikes have 3-5 power levels. Most have motor wattage ratings of 250 watts (1/3 of a horsepower). Some have 500-watt motors and up to but not including 750 watts to fall within the law allowance. To reach a range of 20-40 miles, most will have to limit the power level to avoid a battery discharge. Charging a fully discharged e-bike battery takes 3-4 hours, depending on the charging rate. Batteries can be $750 to $1,500 to replace.

An Approach to E-Bike Safety by Antonia Donnelly –

Problem Statement:

Obviously, the e-bicycle situation is a hot topic. As professionals in the industry, we must take a step back and consider how to improve it. That must start with education. But it’s not just the community’s education – it is educating ourselves on the history, background, purpose, and advocacy. Like it or not, we need to understand and accept all society’s aspects of this mode of transportation.

The laws haven’t been formalized because lawmakers don’t know what they are dealing with. However, check any bicycle injury attorney website; they have already included e-bicycle injury in their portfolios. We can create promotional materials about safety and explain the rules we know about. Specifically the age restriction, speeds, and where the e-bicycle is allowed.

Background:

I have been a triathlete for nearly 16 years and someone who rides a non-powered bicycle in traffic. I learned the things necessary to ensure I don’t get hit by cars, golf carts, etc.  My “ah-ha” moment came after I was knocked off my bicycle while riding in the bike lane of SR 13 in St. Johns County. I was knocked unconscious and had no idea where I was or what had happened. The police report said, ‘I fell off my bicycle’ because no one came forward to say something had happened. 

Of course, kids getting on the e-bicycles have no such history or experience. They don’t understand that cars entering the roads at driveways or intersections can’t often see them. Sometimes, the motorist is hurrying and can misjudge the time it takes the bicycle to close the gap. Especially in Florida, we are constantly mixing users of various machines in the same travel corridors. We all must be more aware of our surroundings. This awareness applies to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists – we all value life, safety, and property.

Subject Information:

I found some helpful information that can guide us. This is a starting point for the e-bike safety discussion and promotional materials.

The following tips are from the website EbikeSchool.com Electric Bicycle Safety Tips:  
  1. Wear a helmet.
  2. Use your lights. At least front white light and rear red LED light on your e-bike.
  3. Use warning devices (horns, bells).
  4. Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic not against it.
  5. Take the lane and watch for parked car doors opening ahead of you.
  6. Keep your tires properly inflated.
  7. Be a defensive driver – don’t expect traffic to anticipate your movements – slow down in questionable situations.
Safety tips from the North Florida Bicycle Club
  1. Ride predictably.
  2. Watch for road hazards (i.e., wet pavement, objects in the path, pedestrians, or other path users).
  3. Obey traffic laws.
  4. In Florida, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle. Bicyclists using a public roadway are considered operators of vehicles and are responsible for observing traffic laws. It is up to motorists and bicyclists to treat each other with care and respect. Adherence to the law is the foundation of respect.
And finally, here are some general guidelines:
  1. Understand where e-bicycles are allowed (sidewalks, multi-use paths, or bike lanes).
  2. Share the space with other users (pedestrians, cars, and other bicycles).
  3. Keep speeds within the limits of the path/roadway.
  4. Know and use hand signals to help traffic know what you are doing (especially when turning).

One thing is for sure; we cannot restrict the sale or use of e-bicycles and e-scooters. Additionally, we cannot task police officers to create enforcement rules about improper use because nothing is written on the matter. At this time, all we can do is come up with safety materials to help parents, students, and other users. Education of the dangers may help limit the number of accidents that could occur.


Click here for Florida Legislation statutes regarding electric bicycles (PDF file).

Inclement Weather Safety

Traffic accidents increase during bad weather. Following the inclement weather safety tips below can reduce traffic-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways. These traffic safety graphics, video, and safe driving tips can be shared with your organization and community.

Today’s Forecast Calls for a Safe Drive

Sometimes we have the privilege of preparedness; other times Mother Nature mounts a sneak attack and we encounter a bad storm. Remember the saying “Expect the unexpected?” Knowing how to handle your vehicle in dangerous weather will prevent panic when you are forced into driving in a storm. Become weather-wise by following these simple guidelines:

  • Turn on your lights.
  • Keep windshield wipers on and make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Slow down, but keep moving. Don’t stop unless you can get completely off the road.
  • Minimize lane changing.
  • Stay further back away from the car in front of you.
  • Be careful of large puddles, they can make your brakes less effective.
  • On wet roads, apply brakes smoothly and evenly to avoid hydroplaning. If you do lose control, take your foot off the gas and do not apply the brakes suddenly.
  • Never drive through flood water more than six inches deep. If you encounter a flooded area, turn around. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
inclement weather safety
inclement weather safety

Northeast Florida experiences many challenging weather conditions that make it a hazard while driving. Thunderstorms and heavy fog are frequent occurrences. Hurricanes are also a significant concern. High winds, wet roads, and low visibility increase the crash risk. Plan ahead and be prepared for predicted storms and hurricanes. Please drive safe and stay off the road during inclement weather unless it’s an emergency.

Links to Safe Travel Information