Florida lawmakers seek red lights at crosswalks

Posted at 9:53 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 09:53:41-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Flashing yellow crosswalk lights would have to be converted to red or be removed, under bills filed this week in the House and Senate.

The proposal (HB 1371 and SB 1000), filed Monday by Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, and Tuesday by Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, would require flashing lights for pedestrian-only crossings to be updated to red or removed by Oct. 1, 2024.

The bills will be considered during the legislative session that began Tuesday. Perry called the need to change the color of flashing lights a “life-threatening issue of pedestrian safety in mid-block crosswalks.”

In a prepared statement, Fine targeted “recently installed” crosswalks along A1A in Brevard County, where a 12-year-old girl was killed in December after being hit by a car while using a midblock crosswalk in Satellite Beach.

“A crosswalk is supposed to be a safe place for a pedestrian to cross the street, but as we saw in December to devastating consequence, a flashing yellow crosswalk does not work,” Fine said. “It’s quite simple --- drivers know that a red light means stop. Yellow doesn’t. So, this legislation would dictate that if government is going to create dedicated pedestrian crosswalks usable upon demand, the light should flash red once the button is pushed.”