Roadway laws are constantly evolving in an effort to increase protections for motorists and pedestrians. While numerous road safety bills were passed in Florida earlier this year, it is a far cry from what is actually needed to ensure safety and reduce collisions.
One example of this is the new car seat law. Lawmakers made it a requirement for all children age five and younger to ride in a car seat for any distance traveled. Unfortunately, this law focuses on age, when weight and height are what really matter. A child’s safety in the car is greatly affected by these latter factors and state laws should reflect that.
A number of other bills that were passed address the following areas:
- Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act: Four year mandatory prison sentence for drivers who leave the scene of fatal crashes.
- Car insurance: Electronic or paper insurance verification required for all drivers.
- Hand-held cell phones: Ban on hand-held cell phones for commercial drivers.
- Ignition interlock devices: Drivers with these devices can still operate their car with a BAC lower than .025
- DUI convictions: Such convictions occurring on the same date but arising from two different cases are treated as separate convictions.
What about Texting While Driving?
In comparison to other states, Florida has long been behind the times when it comes to texting while driving bans. The new law is certainly helpful, but more must be done. According to the most recent bill, those caught texting while driving can be penalized with a secondary offense. This means that police officers can only pull a driver over for texting if they are also violating another law, such as speeding.
Drivers who are stopped at a red light, in a traffic jam, or pulled to the side of the road may still be able to text. Penalties for texting behind the wheel include a $30 fine for first offenders and a $60 fine and points on one’s driving record for second offenders.
41 other states in the country consider texting while driving a first offense. Research and studies make it clear that distracted drivers are one of the leading causes of car accidents and texting is one of the biggest sources of distraction. It is imperative that lawmakers implement harsher laws to eliminate texting behind the wheel.
At The Law Offices of Jason S. Goodman, we have seen firsthand the devastation caused by car accidents. Our firm is dedicated to defending those injured in such accidents and desires to see Florida become a safer place for everyone on the road.
Let our Coral Springs car accident attorney fight for you if you were recently injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness behind the wheel. Contact our firm today and take advantage of your free consultation.