Horizon Awards

For immediate release - October 10, 2006

Lake-Sumter MPO to promote new bicycling safety law during the Mount Dora Bicycle Festival

MOUNT DORA — As thousands of bicyclists pedal into historic downtown Mount Dora for the 32nd Annual Mount Dora Bicycle Festival from Oct. 13-15, officials from the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be on hand to remind festival goers about a new law that requires motorists to share the road responsibly with bicyclists.

On June 22, Gov. Jeb Bush signed House Bill 7079 to incorporate language into the state statutes designating minimum safe passing distance for vehicles overtaking bicyclists. Effective Oct. 1, the law requires a driver of a motorized vehicle to pass a bicycle, or any other nonmotorized vehicle, at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet.

As part of Lake-Sumter MPO’s promotion of the new state statute, MPO Board member and Lake County Commissioner Debbie Stivender and Sheriff Chris Daniels will be available for photographs with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Police Athletic League Cycling Team on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce building, located at 341 Alexander St.

“The scenery of Lake County makes it one of the most popular locations in the state and the country to ride for professional cyclists, triathletes and local residents alike,” Stivender said. “This new law will assist with demonstrating that communities with good bicycling conditions are good places to live and work.”

According to the Mike Woods, Transportation Coordinator at the Lake-Sumter MPO, with very few exceptions, the safest way to ride a bicycle is as part of traffic, going with the flow of the normal traffic pattern.

“This is really important for Lake County; our roads are very popular with bicyclists and triathletes from all over the world,” he said. “The new statute is helpful in clarifying the rules of the road. Simply stated it is share the road safely and comply with state traffic laws; this applies to motorists and cyclists. The bottom line is courtesy.

“Lake County is celebrating the 32nd Annual Mount Dora Bicycle Festival and cyclists from all over Florida and the United States will be here cycling on our roads. Let’s welcome and treat them with courtesy and respect.”

For more information about the Lake-Sumter MPO promotion of the minimum safe passing distance for vehicles overtaking bicyclists, call Woods at (352) 315-0170 or e-mail mwoods@LakeSumterMPO.com.

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Media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov