overnor Rick Scott will join hundreds of bicyclists in Key Biscayne next week for the signing ceremony for a bill named in the honor of an athlete who died after being hit by a car on the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Governor Scott will be in town Wednesday, July 16, for the ceremonial signing of the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act. The signing is set for 5:45 p.m. sharp, and cyclists plan to ride to the event en masse from various points throughout Miami-Dade County.
The event will be either on the east or the west side of the William Powell Bridge.
Cyclists pushed for the Aaron Cohen Act after Cohen, a triathlete and father of two, was struck and killed on the William Powell Bridge by Key Biscayne resident Michele Traverso in February 2012. Traverso was sentenced to under a year in jail for Leaving the Scene of an Accident.
The incident and sentence sparked outrage in South Florida’s cycling community, with cyclists noting there was evidence Traverso was drinking before the crash – but fled the scene and didn’t turn himself in until a day later, when alcohol would have cleared his system.
With that in mind, cycling advocates pushed for the Aaron Cohen Act, which makes minimum penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death the same as DUI manslaughter. The act also includes stiffer penalties for motorists who hit a vulnerable user like a bicyclist.
The Florida Legislature approved the law during this year’s spring session.