Florida Fails Traffic Safety Law Review

There are 15 basic traffic safety laws that transportation officials have recommended be adopted by all states. Unfortunately, too few states are adopting these recommendations, despite a new federal transportation law and a number of grant incentives.

According to Edmunds.com, a recent report card from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety shows which states need to step up their efforts.

Florida didn’t do so well in the recent report card. Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys understand that the worst state may have been South Dakota — but Florida didn’t fall too far behind. This may be one of the main resasons why we saw close to 3,500 traffic accident fatalities in 2011. Over the last 10 years we’ve seen more than 30,000 traffic accident fatalities in our state.

“Several states have been moving backwards and most states are not moving at all to enact lifesaving laws,” said Jacqueline Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

One of the most concerning facts regarding the latest traffic accident fatalities is that during the first 9 months of 2012, the U.S. saw an increase of more than 7 percent in the number of traffic deaths.

Annually, these accidents cost the country close to $250 billion.

Laws that Could Benefit the Safety of Florida Motorists:

-The government is pushing for all motorcyclists be to wear a helmet. Currently, a rider who is over the age of 21 is allowed to operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing a helmet if such a person is covered by an insurance policy providing at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating a motorcycle.

-Booster seats should be required of all motorists under the age of 7.

-The state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program should have a minimum age requirement of 16-years-old for a learner’s permit.

-Our GDL program should have stricter nighttime restrictions as these young drivers are more likely to get into an accident during the evening hours. Currently, drivers with an Operator’s License, who are 16-years-old, may only drive between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., with two exceptions. If the driver is going to and from work, or has a licensed driver who at least 21-years-old in the front passenger seat, he or she may driver outside the restricted times. Drivers that have an Operator’s License, who are 17-years-old, are restricted from driving between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., with the two exceptions listed above.

-Our GDL program should have stricter passenger restrictions as these young drivers are more likely to get into an accident when more passengers are present in the vehicle.

-Lawmakers should enact an Ignition Interlock Law for all drunk driving offenses.

-Enact laws to keep drivers in the GDL program off of their cell phones. These drivers rely on their electronic devices more than any other age group of driver. We need to keep their hands on the wheel and their attention on the road.

-All drivers should be banned from text messaging behind the wheel.

Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, if you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Officials Push FL Law: Move Over to Save Lives, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2012

Drowsy Driving Top Culprit in Car Accidents, Study Reveals, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2012

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