TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Legislation proposed after a 12-year-old Satellite Beach girl was killed as she used a crosswalk passed another vote Tuesday in Tallahassee, taking one step closer to becoming law.
Sophia Nelson was crossing at State Road A1A and Ellwood Avenue on Dec. 22, 2019 when she was struck by a vehicle, according to a Satellite Beach police report.
Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, and Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, filed House Bill 1371, known as the Sophia Nelson Pedestrian Safety Act.
On Tuesday, the House Tourism, Infrastructure and Energy Subcommittee voted 15 to 2 in favor of the bill. It will need to go through two more subcommittees before it’s sent to the House floor for a vote.
Named after a Satellite Beach girl killed crossing A1A, “The Sofia Nelson Pedestrian Safety Act” passes a legislature meeting. @VoteRandyFine wants midblock crosswalks to have flashing lights changed from yellow to red or to remove the yellow lights. @news6wkmg report at 6 and 7 pic.twitter.com/srQrd3XVNX— James Sparvero (@News6James) March 16, 2021
The bill would make changes to mid-block pedestrian walkways like the one where Nelson was hit. The legislation would require installing flashing red lights instead of yellow light on roads where the speed is above 35 mph and would reduce the speed limit to 35 mph in areas still using flashing yellow beacons.
In February, Nelson’s parents appeared before the Florida House State Affairs Committee to urge legislators to support the legislation. The committee unanimously passed the bill on Feb. 18.
A companion Senate bill was also introduced, SB 1000 still has to go through one more committee before going to the Senate floor for a vote.