Have you been thinking about your next planned activity on your next free day? Many residents as well as visitors enjoy activities in Florida like jet skiing or parasailing. Perhaps a rickshaw ride would be a more appropriate way to see the sights while experiencing something different for a change.
But before planning your next adventurous activity, our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers want to point out the risk and potential injuries these activities can cause. We’re not trying to be kill-joys. But it’s important to know and understand that not all operators of tourist activities are created equal. Some are as concerned about guest safety as they are about profits. Others … not so much.
The Sun Sentinel recently reported on the boom in the rickshaw business in Fort Lauderdale.
The city has received applications to increase the current fleet of 20 pedicabs to more than 60. Law enforcement officials are worried about traffic safety. In addition, city officials need to improve safety regulations. It is surprising that the safety regulations had not been changed considering the serious New Year’s Day accident in 2008 that left 2 women injured.
That accident involved a hit and run driver that rear ended the uninsured rickshaw.
Currently the city doesn’t require safety features such as turn signals, rearview mirrors, lights and seat belts to be placed in rickshaws. The minimum requirements for operators include: need a valid driver’s license, they can’t interfere with traffic, and they must carry liability insurance of $100,000 per accident.
Fort Lauderdale officials are considering requiring as much as $1 million in insurance coverage, safety features including seat belts, inspections of the pedicabs done annually, and having ownership and rate information posted in the vehicle. The city is also considering increasing the rickshaw fleet by only 12 instead of the requested 50.
Fort Lauderdale’s Police Department wants rickshaws barred from congested streets where space is at a premium.
In the past several years Orlando and New York City have implemented stronger regulations regarding pedicabs after accidents or the increased number of pedicabs increased the dangers faced by riders and motorists alike.
In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported there were 716 pedalcyclists killed and another 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes.
Some facts about fatal pedalcyclist crashes:
-69% occur in urban areas.
-64% occur at non-intersection locations.
-28% occur between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
-12% happen in September and 9% happen in June.
Interestingly, the first motor vehicle crash in the U.S. occurred in 1896, when a motor vehicle crashed into a pedalcycle rider.
If you have been injured in a Florida accident contact Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Dean H. Freeman for a free consultation. Call 1-800-529-2368.