After a raucous meeting last night in Gainesville, Carl Rogers announced that the bill he sponsored with Emory Dunahoo and Lee Hawkins would not go any further. He didn’t quite say he’d withdraw it, but he suggested he wouldn’t be pushing it any longer.
Emory Dunahoo said on facebook that it was wrong for people to assume he was supporting a bill merely because he sponsored it. Lee Hawkins hasn’t said much, but it is assumed he’s distancing himself as well.
So if none of the sponsors we’re willing to publicly support a bill that they put their names on, why did this bill come to be?
Almost every article on this proposed bill quoted one man, Jim Syfan, of Syfan Logistics, in support. He told 11alive that he’d been pushing this bill for years.
Why? He might have to “hit a ditch” because of cyclists. His main stated concern is that he has been flicked off by cyclists who are in the middle of the road. That’s why he says he wants the law.
But perhaps he has another interest. Syfan owns a trucking company. Trucks were responsible for every cyclist death but one last year. And about the only time a truck hasn’t broken the law when hitting a cyclist is when it can be shown that the cyclist was in violation of the law himself which led to his own injuries. You can be a lot less careful with your semi if the consequences are less costly.
But why would Dunahoo, Hawkins, and Rogers carry a bill that one guy wanted, probably just to avoid liability?
Maybe it is the combined over $4,000 he has donated to the sponsors of the bill? That seems to be the gist of what Dunahoo had to say:
“I had no intention of signing or passing or voting for this law,” Dunahoo told 11Alive’s Blayne Alexander. “To me, it was to bring attention to an issue that’s gonna be a problem if we don’t start working together.”
“It was dropped just for someone six months later to pull it out,” Dunahoo added.