Florida Representative Mike Beltran (Hillsborough) will soon file a bill to improve the state’s hazardous walking conditions statute (Sec. 1006.23). Still in draft form as it’s prepared for submission, the bill appears to be on track to include much of the criteria proposed by Rob Doss of Safe Student Florida. Doss has been working closely with Rep. Beltran and his office as the bill’s language is finalized.
While Rep. Beltran’s bill remains in draft form, he has been clear that he wants Florida law and local school districts to provide Florida students safe access to mandatory public education, a position he shares with Safe Student Florida.
A recent Safe Student Florida article stated, “At some level, parents recognize that in a state and country that mandates the provision of public education, there should be reasonably safe access to that education and when children live within a reasonable walking distance of school, they should be able to walk safely to and from school or be considered eligible for school bus transportation service.”
Currently, the law fails to adequately protect Florida’s public school students from hazardous walking conditions while Florida is perennially judged to be the nation’s most dangerous for pedestrians by the National Complete Streets Coalition.
Florida’s 2020 legislative session will begin in the second week of January.