Auto Accident Attorney with Joyce and Reyes Sees Room for Improvement in Florida Highway Safety Laws
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 6, 2014 - Florida was listed among the “Worst States” for highway safety laws by a Washington, D.C. safety advocacy group.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) recently published the list, which summarizes a number of traffic safety laws, including those governing seat belts, helmets for motorcycle riders and text messaging.
“Each year, thousands of Florida families suffer a death or serious injury on our highways,” said Tampa auto accident attorney Robert Joyce. “Fatalities have been on the decline in recent years, and last year's partial text messaging ban is an improvement. But we still have a long way to go.”
The report cited Florida for its lack of a primary seat belt enforcement law for rear seat passengers, an all-rider motorcycle helmet law, an ignition interlock law for all drunk driving offenders, an all-driver text messaging restriction and certain restrictions on teen drivers.
An ignition interlock is installed on previous DWI offenders' vehicles and requires the driver to breathe into a device that measures blood alcohol content (BAC) before the vehicle will start. In Florida, the measure is mandatory for offenders caught with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher. Many states require the devices for offenders with a BAC over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, as the AHAS advocates.
Florida's text messaging ban, passed in 2013, is a secondary offense, which means that police cannot pull over a driver solely for violating the law. Instead, they may cite a driver for text messaging if they are being detained for another reason, such as speeding or erratic driving. Cathy Chase, a vice president at AHAS, called secondary texting laws “toothless.”
State Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Delray Beach, has introduced a bill, HB 539, that would make texting while driving a primary offense, enabling police to pull over drivers for that reason alone. Slosberg also introduced a bill, HB 645, that would prohibit all use of cell phones within school zones.
Traffic fatalities in Florida have fallen sharply in recent years, from 3,533 in 2005 to 2,430 in 2012. Slosberg attributes this to primary enforcement of seat belt laws, which went into effect for minors in 2005 and for all front-seat drivers and passengers in 2009.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Jury convicts Florida man for ‘pill mill’ operation
A jury convicted a Florida man of 11 felony charges for running a pain clinic that prosecutors called a “pill mill.” Richard McMillan refused a plea deal of 10 years in prison. He took the stand in his own defense, arguing that his network of pain clinics was a legitimate business. After nine hours of […]
- More Florida car accidents caused by road debris
An analysis of Florida crash data shows that car accidents caused by road debris are on the rise. Car accidents have resulted from drivers hitting objects in the road or swerving to avoid them. In some cases, cars have been hit by debris from trucks with unsecured loads. In 1998, a 13-year-old girl survived a […]
- Physicians’ group asks Florida Supreme Court to reconsider medical malpractice case
A doctors’ group has requested that the Florida Supreme Court reconsider its rejection of an arbitration agreement in a lawsuit involving medical malpractice. The request was filed by attorneys for physician Eileen Hernandez and Women’s Care Florida LLC, approximately two weeks after the arbitration agreement was tossed out in a case involving a stillborn baby. […]
- Florida ranked as most dangerous state for car accidents involving pedestrians
Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians. According to the advocacy group Smart Growth America, Florida had 5,142 pedestrian fatalities from 2005 to 2014 and a pedestrian death rate of 2.66 per 100,000 people. The group assigned Florida a high Pedestrian Danger Index of 177 by comparing data on pedestrian deaths […]
- Florida wrongful death lawsuit settled for $1.7 million
The parents of a young mentally ill man who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy in Florida have settled their wrongful death lawsuit for $1.7 million. Michael Camberdella was shot and killed by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy in Boynton Beach, Florida in 2012. According to the family’s attorney, Michael, age 18, […]