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Tightening Road Laws for Safer Roadways — Florida Fails

Federal transportation officials have been doing all they can to get states to enact tougher driving laws. The efforts aren’t paying off in Florida. According to, federal transportation laws and even generous grant programs have failed to jump start Florida lawmakers into enacting road laws to help to make everyone safer.

According to the 10th annual report card by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Florida is ranked as one of the worst states in terms of roadway safety laws. Our Vero Beach accident lawyers understand that Florida has repeatedly been criticized for being one of the only states in the country that has yet to enact any kind of distracted driving law. And that was pointed out in the recent report — along with other delinquencies.

Changes for Safer Roads, according to SafeRoads:

-All motorcycle riders should be required to wear a safety helmet. Currently, only our youngest riders are required to wear this kind of protection.

-Lawmakers should require all children under the age of 7 to remain seated in a booster seat while riding in a motor vehicle.

-The state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program should up its minimum age requirement for a Learner’s Permit to 16-years-old.

-Our GDL program should further limit young driver’s time behind the wheel during the evening hours. Currently, 16-year-old cannot drive past 11:00 p.m. while 17-year-olds cannot drive past 1:00 p.m.

-Transportation officials should limit the number of young passengers a teenage driver can have in the vehicle at one time. We are currently one of the few states that have no restrictions.

-While it’s important to enact cell phone bans on our young drivers, it’s just as important to get all drivers on the same page. Cell phones and text messaging behind the wheel significantly increases your risks for an accident. All drivers need to keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road and their attention on driving.

-Lawmakers should crack down on drunk drivers. There should be a law enacted that requires ignition interlock devices for all DUI offenders.

“The traffic safety progress we’ve made since 2005 is at risk of being undone,” said Jacqueline Gillan, president of Advocates.

The truth of the matter is that the number of car accidents has increased more than 7 percent during the first 9 months of 2012 in comparison to 2011. And one quick fix to this rising problem is the enactment of stricter driving laws.

Drivers need to be more in tune with their actions behind the wheel. It seems that we’re all losing the severity of the risks associated with driving. Every time you hop behind that wheel, it’s important to remember that it could be your last and you need to do everything in your power to make sure that it’s not. Safe roadways start with you. Be on your best behavior out there to help ensure the safety of all travelers.

If you or someone you love has been the injured or killed in a car accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Troopers Bust Thousands during Drunk Driving Enforcement, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 15, 2013

Florida Officials Pushing “Move Over Law” to Save Lives, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 8, 2013

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