South Florida Drivers Aren’t the Safest

An Airman simulates texting and driving. Cell phone usage while driving is prohibited on Department of Defense installations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nigel Sandridge)

Each year, the well-known insurance provider Allstate publishes its America’s Best Drivers Report which ranks over 150 cities and suburban metropolitan areas throughout the country to determine which of them have the safest drivers. Allstate recently published its report for 2018 and perhaps unsurprisingly, South Florida drivers aren’t the role models of the United States roadways.

Fort Lauderdale and Miami managed to come in 53rd and 86th place, respectively. While these placements aren’t the best, they certainly fared much better than Hialeah which holds the dubious distinction of ranking the worst in 138th place. Two Florida cities did manage to make the top twenty: Cape Coral in 8th place and Port St. Lucie in 12th place.

The Best Drivers Report evaluated each city based on the average amount of time between accidents. These numbers are then compared to the United States average. As for Miami, its drivers are involved in accidents every eight and half years. Fort Lauderdale fared a little better, with its accidents occurring about 9.2 years.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with our legal team about fighting your Miami civil traffic tickets.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

How Bad Is Texting While Driving in Florida?

textDriveWe all have probably dealt with it at some point: you’re driving on the South Florida roadways only to notice a car going unusually slow, weaving in and out of their lane, or hitting their brakes even though there is clearly no one in front of them. As you’re passing them, you notice the driver is a teenager starting at his or phone instead of concentrating on the road.

Texting while driving is alarmingly common. In fact, a Journal of Adolescent Health study found that close to forty percent of high school students engage in this activity. In Florida’s case, a driver must be at least fifteen years of age to receive their learner’s permit. The study found that Florida has about 37 percent of teens engage in the activity. What’s worse, researchers also found that the chances of teens texting and driving was likely to increase as they got older.

Texting while driving—regardless of age—is considered to be particularly dangerous as it impairs a driver’s ability to visualize while also causing physical and cognitive distractions. In the case of Florida, it is one of the few states in the country that has yet to pass stricter laws regarding cell phone use and texting. For the time being, texting while driving remains a secondary offense in Florida. This means a driver must be pulled over for another reason such as speeding before they can be cited for texting.

To read more about the study, please visit https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(18)30250-7/fulltext.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Watch out for School Zones

busIf you’ve somehow managed to avoid all of the traffic, you’ve likely already noticed that numerous schoolchildren have started a new school year. This means that those school zones you may have driven through at speeds beyond fifteen miles per hour during the earlier summer season are now in full effect once again.

Failure to adhere to posted school speed limits can carry increasingly hefty fines depending on how fast a driver is going. For example, in Miami-Dade County, going anywhere between one to five miles over the speed limit may result in a fine of about $169. Vehicles caught driving thirty miles above or more the speed limit face even heftier fines of up to $1,000.

With school being back in session, it also means there are more school buses on the road. Drivers should remember that they must stop when a school bus has its stop sign out, including those traveling in the opposite direction. Drivers that are caught passing a school bus that’s stopped face not only a fine of about $284, they will also be required to attend traffic school.

Stay safe on the roads during the morning and afternoon hours when children are coming to school and heading home.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Many Drivers Fail to “Move Over”

Hochman and GoldmanHere’s a bit of startling news: just over seventy percent of Americans are unfamiliar with their state’s Move Over laws, according to a National Safety Commission poll. Several law enforcement officers have sustained injuries due to drivers failing to follow these rules. While most drivers are aware they must pull over so that emergency vehicles can pass, it’s the part about switching lanes to maintain a safe distance that most are unfamiliar with.

Florida law requires that vehicles switch over a lane if there are utility service vehicles, emergency vehicles, or sanitation vehicles stopped by the side of the road. If for whatever reason the driver is unable to switch lanes, then they are required to reduce their speed to twenty miles below the speed limit while they are passing by these aforementioned vehicles. While the information regarding the Move Over Act is part of current driving tests, older drivers around age thirty or above may not be aware of it as the law was not in effect then.

Last year alone, over 115 crashes resulting in more than eighty injuries were caused by drivers failing to adhere to the Move Over Act. Additionally, close to 17,000 drivers were cited for the same reason. Move Over Act violations can result in a driver receiving a fine as well as points on their license.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticketlawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

 

Practicing Driver Etiquette

driving-1Common courtesy can go a long way on the South Florida roadways where most drivers always appear to be in a bad mood or in a hurry. Using your horn is a mixed bag that can either serve to alert a driver that may not be paying attention or it may unintentionally lead to a case of road rage. So, when is it best to use it and when should you not? Let’s take some scenarios into consideration.

One instance where you should always lay on the horn is if you notice that a driver is about to hit you. Often drivers forget about their blind spot and attempt to switch lanes without realizing someone is right next to them. If you feel you or your vehicle are in danger, let the driver know.

Let’s say for instance you’re going straight while a driver is trying to make a left turn in front of you. If the driver simply moved up a few inches, you could be on your way. You may be tempted to honk your horn but this could be misconstrued by the driver as if you’re telling them to turn already, which they may not be able to do. Instead, see if it’s possible to safely inch your vehicle forward and move just slightly to the right to get around them.

Here’s another scenario: the light turns green and the driver in front of you hasn’t moved for several seconds. Yes, you should honk your horn but do it only for a quick moment as a way to remind them.

On an unrelated note, if you catch a driver texting next to you, don’t honk at them. While they shouldn’t be texting and driving, it is not your duty to police the roads. Concentrate on being a good driver and driving defensively.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer team of team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami speeding ticket lawyer today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Watch out for Electronic Traffic Citations

scamWhile credit cards being stolen is unfortunately common, these methods also extend to traffic tickets or speeding fines. Let’s elaborate on this.

Technologically savvy individuals will masquerade as police. These people will then send you an official and very professional looking email claiming to be the police. The email will say something along the lines that you were caught on camera speeding and are receiving a citation. However, to view the citation, you must log in. This is where the user is tricked into clicking the link, entering their personal information, and having their information or identity stolen.

It may seem odd in today’s day and age where everything is moving towards digital but when it comes to citations, most if not all police will not send a citation via this method. Police departments prefer to stick to the tried and true method of postal mail (or “snail mail”). Hence, if you receive a citation by email you can be almost certain that it’s a scam.

To avoid scams such as these, there is a simple solution to minimize your chances of receiving one: simply obey traffic laws.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with someone at the Miami ticket law firm today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Risky Social Media Challenge May Result in Several Citations

savedFor those of you that are active on social media, you’ve more than likely come across one or multiple videos of people doing the “Keke Challenge”. If you’ve somehow remained oblivious to the latest social media trend, allow us to shed some light on it. The Keke Challenge gained traction last month when the popular musician Drake released a song called “In My Feelings”. The song led to an Internet meme dance “challenge” where drivers exit their moving vehicle and dance next to their car while it is in motion and they are being recorded.

The Keke Challenge has exploded in popularity with plenty of people attempting the dangerous dance, which has already resulted in at least one person getting hit by an oncoming vehicle as well as other videos of drivers falling when attempting to exit the vehicle. While it may seem fun, it is also incredibly dangerous and may result in nearly $1,000 worth of citations in Florida if a law enforcement officer catches a driver attempting to do it. For example, a driver may be cited for impeding the flow of traffic ($164), reckless driving (as much as $500), not wearing a seatbelt ($114), and careless driving (another $164 fine). Besides the citations, there is also the risk of significant injury.

Perhaps the wisest thing to do is to enjoy and dance to the Drake song from the comfort and safety of being inside a vehicle.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with our legal team about fighting your Miami civil traffic tickets.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

South Florida’s DUI Arrest Plunge

duiWell here is some refreshingly positive news for once regarding South Florida drivers. A recent Miami Herald article states the number of drunk drivers on the roadways has decreased substantially. The number of DUI-related arrests by the two largest police departments in Miami-Dade County dropped more than sixty percent last year compared to four years earlier. Between the period of 2013 to 2015, over 1,000 people were arrested by the police. In 2017, less than 600 people were arrested for the same charges.

With such encouragingly large drops, the inevitable question turns to the reasons behind the decrease in DUI arrests. As you may have already guessed, it’s believed ride-sharing companies and their ongoing rise in popularity may have played important roles as more people rely on services like Lyft and Uber to get around when they’ve had too much to drink. Other factors that may also have contributed include proactive law enforcement, better public education about the dangers of driving under the influence, and the perceived trend that millennials prefer not to drive.
Regardless of the reasons, fewer DUI arrests mean potentially safer roads for the rest of us…and that’s always a good thing. You can read more by visiting https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article215758380.html.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a red light camera violation attorney today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Smart Traffic Signals and How They’ll Change Miami Traffic

trafficA new smart traffic signal system might save Miami from terrible traffic. A new monitoring system linked to around 100 cameras will start controlling lights at intersections on US 1. They’ll decide which lights will turn green and which ones will turn red. The cameras will calculate vehicle speed and the number of cars at the intersection, then decide on the next red or green light based on that data.

The smart traffic signals will go live on Southwest 98th Street and I-95. The main goal of the signals is to make a maximum sequence of green lights so that rush hour drivers can drive for a while before hitting a red light. The excessive waits at red lights are one big reason why US 1’s traffic is so bad.

The county already tried a smart traffic system in Doral in 2016. The rush hour traffic there is now about 10% faster. Hopefully, the speed of traffic on US 1 will also improve.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Motorcyclists and Florida Traffic Laws

motocicletaHere’s a common scenario South Florida drivers may run into when out on the roadways. You are stopped at a red light waiting for it to turn green when suddenly you notice a motorcycle creeping up beside you between lanes to cut in front of the line of traffic and avoid the wait. The move can lead to a potentially serious case of road rage, much like when any vehicle suddenly cuts in front of a driver waiting in line at a busy exit.

What motorcyclists may be failing to realize is cutting between stopped vehicles is highly frowned upon. Not only that, Florida laws require motorcycles to adhere to the same laws as that of drivers moving around in a vehicle with four wheels. While laws may differ beyond the state of Florida, splitting lanes or cutting into the front of stopped traffic is against the law. Hence, motorcyclists may risk receiving a ticket and possibly major fines for the traffic violation.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.