Drivers in West Palm Beach, Flamingo Park and Wellington face a much greater risk of auto accidents than they should. The reason: Florida does not have very effective laws protecting motorists from risks on the road. A personal injury lawyer knows that laws designed to increase safety can make a big difference in how many crashes happen. This is why it is bad news that Florida scored so poorly on the recently released 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws.
Florida is Missing Many Fundamental Safety Rules
The 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws assigns a color to states based on how well those states have done in implementing recommended safety laws. States that have made significant progress in implementing laws designed to prevent crashes will be given a green. Just Washington D.C. and 10 states have a green. States that have made moderately positive progress in adopting recommended safety laws are given a yellow. There are 31 states with a yellow rating. Finally, states that have poor performance and a dangerous lack of basic recommended safety laws are given a red. There are only nine states that are given a red, and Florida is one of them.
There are a total of 15 safety laws that states are recommended to have. Florida has just six out of the 15 recommended rules designed to reduce the risk that traffic accidents will occur on state roads. Florida does not have:
- A law mandating that all riders of motorcycles wear helmets.
- A law requiring that booster seats be used for kids until age seven.
- A law allowing law enforcement officers to pull over motorists solely because rear passengers are not wearing seat belts (a primary enforcement rear seat belt law).
- A law imposing a minimum age limit of 16 to obtain a learner’s permit.
- An effective law imposing restrictions on new teen drivers operating their vehicles at night.
- A law imposing restrictions on the number of young teen passengers that a new underage driver can have with him or her in the car.
- A provision restricting cell phone use for new teen drivers who have only recently obtained their license.
- A law that would require all convicted drunk driving offenders, including first-time offenders, to install an ignition interlock device. These devices are believed to reduce drunk driving since motorists must blow into a breath test before their vehicle’s ignition will start.
- A restriction that prohibits all drivers in the state from text messaging while operating their vehicles.
All of these are important safety laws that could help to improve road conditions and potentially cut down on accident injuries and deaths. There were 2,407 traffic fatalities in Florida over the course of 2013 and crashes cost the state $12.079 billion per year. It makes sense for the state to try to reduce these costs and save lives by passing better road safety laws, but it is still unlikely that positive changes will be made any time soon.
Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims in CityPlace, Flamingo Park and Wellington and surrounding areas. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit http://www.gonzalezcartwright.com/ to schedule a free consultation.