The state of Florida has made tremendous milestones in implementing new traffic laws in 2018. Missing such news is easy since mainstream media focused mainly on minimum wage legislation. In total, the state passed over 230 bills in 2017, most of which take effect this year.
All motorists must know these new regulations for safety and well-being. Some people have started speculating a possibility of difficult roads ahead. That knowledge is essential in helping you avoid unnecessary friction with law enforcement agencies manning the highways. Keep reading to learn about the new legislation and how to comply in order to avoid hefty fines and penalties.
Move Over Legislation
All drivers are expected to make way for emergency vehicles on their routes according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The law that took effect in January 2018 also includes utility service workers.
In 2017, approximately 17,000 motorists received traffic citations for not making way. The law aims to keep thousands of roadside workers safe when repairing and maintaining Florida roads. If successfully implemented, the law ensures the workers complete the job with minimum interruptions and get back home safe.
Ride Sharing Law
HB 647 traffic bill seeking to regulate ride-sharing industry finally got approved last year. Recently, ride sharing spiraled out of control. The new law benefits cab-hailing apps such as Uber since they are not expected to comply fully. However, conventional taxi companies have no option but to comply.
The legislation intends to regulate rideshare companies an industry that has been growing at breakneck speeds. The companies welcomed the move since they will not operate under laws made by the local governments.
Texting Behind The Wheel
It is paramount for drivers to remember that texting while driving is banned. Although the law came to effect in mid-2017, it is worth reminding you that the law is still being enforced.
According to a recent study, approximately 80% of American motorists acknowledge checking or using their mobile devices while driving. The habit is a concern for drivers, road users, and the liable insurance companies. In the study, the following was also noted:
- About 19% of drivers check their phones every 30 minutes
- 10% of drivers admitted shopping online while behind the wheels.
- 14% of drivers with kids admitted taking selfies while driving.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration submits that texting or reading a message while driving takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds. That time is enough for a driver to cover a distance of a football field at a speed of 55 mph. Another study conducted by Car and Driver Magazine shows that texting while driving reduces your reaction time more than that of a driver with 0.08% blood alcohol intoxication.
The ban is aimed at improving the safety of other road users such as passengers, car operators, and cyclists. The law might have directly mentioned texts, but it also includes other related forms of communication such as email and instant messaging.
The new laws benefit everyone. Personal injury protection is paramount. In case of an accident or injuries, get in touch with our offices today.