City leaders put the brakes to rules regulating slow moving vehicles on the beach.
No, they were not scrapped, but questions regarding the type of braking systems allowed under the regulations lead to a change letting any type of braking system on a surrey bicycle as long as it “lock ups” sending the wheels into a controlled skid.
With those changes City Council gave final approval on the ordinance that regulates pedi-cabs, golf carts, surrey bicycles and other slow moving vehicles Thursday. The rules go into effect April 15.
Instead of establishing a stopping distance in the ordinance which Paul Bertels, director of traffic, could not find information to support a number for, the bikes have to be able to come to a skid stop, basicallly being able to lock up their brakes. Which is similar to wording used in similar regulations in Phoenix, Bertels said.
“There is no stopping standard that can be found for bikes of this type,” Bertels said. “To put that into the ordinance there’s nothing to back it up.”
He said that “stop in a reasonable distance” is the wording of a similar New York City ordinance but reasonable distance was not determined either.
Councilmember Bill Jonson said he went out to two surrey bike rentals on the beach, one uses disc brakes and the others uses drums. He tried riding them and found that they both stopped well.
“I wonder if we are splitting the baby too much here by coming up with specific wording.”
The change says that the surrey bicycle has to be "equipped with a braking system that is capable of skidding each wheel in contact with the ground on dry, clean pavement."
“If there is a enough braking power to skid there is a enough power to bring it to a stop," said Vice Mayor Paul Gibson. “Who knows what other braking systems they might have... There is no reason why both can't be legal as long as they can stop the vehicles in the way we describe.”
That and some changes so drivers offering “free” rides have to put a sign on their vehicles saying “gratuities appreciated” was also added.
“I’m concerned if it says Florida Free Rides and then they get out and they say the expect a tip,” Jonson said.