City Council requires rental shops to equip bikes with lights and bells | News, Sports, Jobs – FORT MYERS
Under a new ordinance proposed by the Fort Myers Beach City Council, bike rental companies will be required to equip their bikes with bells and lights.
Fort Myers City Beach Director Roger Hernstadt said there has been concern that not everyone is wearing warning devices or lights on their bikes, like the require state law and city ordinance.
Mayor Ray Murphy said families visiting Fort Myers Beach and biking together on the island likely aren’t aware of the rules. It is the responsibility of bike rental companies to ensure bikes are properly fitted, he said.
Hernstadt said the city could make bells available at the town hall if needed.
The municipality has equipped itself with bells and lights that it distributes during events. The city also sells them cheaply at the town hall, Hernstadt said.
In rental agreements that some bike rental companies have with cyclists, bikes are not allowed to be ridden after dark, Hernstadt said.
City Attorney John Herin Jr. said under the proposed new city ordinance, bike rental companies won’t be able to transfer responsibility for outfitting bikes with the bells and lights like the requires the law through rental agreements that shift liability overnight.
Herin said bike rental companies told renters not to ride bikes at night unless they fitted the bikes with bells and lights.
“These businesses are closed after 5 p.m.” he said. “The new language says they can’t shift that responsibility to their renters saying ‘if you’re riding at night, you’re the one who has to put bells and lights on the bike. “”
Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros said the lights are meant to be used during the day anyway.
murphy said “we have already passed the stage of the voluntary compared to the obligatory.” He said the bike has “Exponential Growth” on the beach. Rental companies, he said, “have to work with us.”
Council member Dan Allers said the public safety committee supports making sure bike rental companies, hotels and short-term rental companies comply with the requirements.
“It’s a matter of public safety” said Go. “It’s very dangerous there at night.”