Florida Fair When it Comes to Traffic Safety Laws

Florida, like most states, has laws in place intended to restrict dangerous driving behavior and to make sure that drivers stay safe and keep others on the roads safe as well. Some states, however, have more laws in place to promote safe and responsible. Recently, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety completed a state-by-state comparison of safety laws to see how each state is doing. This is the 10th annual survey of state highway safety laws. 

Our accident attorneys in West Palm Beach urge every Florida driver to take a look at the summary of safety laws. The summary can provide you with information on the safety laws you are required to obey and can give you an idea of some safety behaviors that you should practice even if the law doesn’t yet require you to do so.

Where Florida Stands on Safety Laws

Florida has been rated “yellow” by the Advocates, which means that the state has made fairly good progress as far as passing driving laws to make their roads safe. However, the yellow rating also means that the state still has quite a few improvements to make.

The Advocates summarized the different laws that exist in Florida as well as those that are lacking. For example:

  • Florida has a primary seat belt law. You do not need to be committing a traffic offense in order for law enforcement to pull you over for not wearing your seat belt.
  • Florida has no law requiring all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, so earned no credit from the Advocates on this issue.
  • Florida is also lacking in a booster seat law.
  • Florida does not have a law imposing a minimum age of 16 to obtain a license.
  • Florida does have a 6-month holding period for new teen licensees and receives credit for this.
  • Florida requires supervised drive time for new drivers and receives credit from the Advocates.
  • Florida has a law imposing restrictions on night driving for teens. However, the law is not sufficient for the state to receive credit on this issue.
  • Florida is lacking in a law restricting the number of passengers that teen drivers may have in their vehicles.
  • Florida gets credit for setting a minimum age of 18 for a new full license.
  • Florida does not require an ignition interlock device for all offenders convicted of drinking and driving.
  • Florida gets credit for having a child endangerment law for those driving drunk.
  • Florida gets credit for imposing a mandatory BAC requirement.
  • Florida gets credit for having an open container law.
  • Florida is lacking in a widespread ban on text messaging

Florida, therefore, gets credit for a total of seven safety laws. However, the state does need to impose tougher laws to, among other things, protect motorcycle riders and teen drivers and to reduce the significant risks presented by texting and driving.

Those who want to be as safe as they can when driving should make the choice to wear helmets, use booster seats, refrain from cell phone use and otherwise live up to the Advocate’s recommended safety regulations.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., at (800) 608-2965 for a free and confidential consultation.

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