Florida recently saw an influx of new road safety bills, all of which will hopefully go a long way in making the state’s roadways a much safer place for drivers and pedestrians. It is important for all Florida residents to be aware of these laws, as they have a serious impact on drivers of all ages.
Understanding Florida’s New Laws
At the beginning of this year, the state made it a requirement that all children five years old and younger must ride in a car seat, regardless of the distance that is being traveled. This new requirement falls far from what is actually needed. Rather than being concerned with age, the law should focus on height and weight, as these factors are what actually affect a child’s safety.
A bill called the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act was also passed, which states that drivers who leave the scene of fatal crashes can face a four year mandatory sentence and other penalties.
One of the bills includes a ban on texting while driving. Those caught texting while driving can be penalized with a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement must have another reason for pulling drivers over other than texting, such as speeding.
Drivers in the following situations, however, may be able to text:
- Stopped at a red light
- In a traffic jam
- Pulled to the side of the road
First offenders can incur a $30 fine, while subsequent offenders can face a $60 fine and three points on their driving record.
Other bills that were passed in Florida include:
- Ban on hand-held cell phones for commercial drivers
- Insured motorists must verify proof of their car insurance either electronically or on paper
- Drivers with an Ignition Interlock Device can still operate their car if their BAC is lower than .025
- DUI convictions occurring on the same date but occur from two different cases are treated as separate convictions
While these laws are certainly a good start and a step in the right direction, more must be done. There is no question that Florida has been far behind other states in enacting cell phone and text laws, something which has severely impacted the safety of the roadways.
No fewer than 44 states currently have a hands-free cell phone law – Florida unfortunately is not one of them. Until this changes, the injuries and fatalities caused by phone-related accidents will continue to rise. Distracted driving is a serious problem, but the right laws can significantly diminish it. Our firm is passionate about making Florida a safer place for drivers and pedestrians alike.
The more you know, the more safely you can interact with other drivers on the road. We desire to see a change in Florida’s legislature regarding highway safety. Thousands of accidents occur in Florida each year due to negligence and victims suffer immensely as a result. If you’re suffering from a recent accident, don’t let your pain go unnoticed. Contact our Miami car accident lawyers today to receive personal legal representation.