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Pedestrian Fatalities Rising at an Alarming Rate in Florida

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According to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths in the sunshine state have increased significantly over the last three years.

In 2021, 444 people died while walking in Florida, an almost 31% rise over the previous year, according to the data. This is also a greater increase than the national average. From January 1 to June 30, pedestrian fatalities in the United States jumped approximately 17%, from 2,951 in the first six months of 2019 to an estimated 3,441 in the same period last year. This represents a 507-death increase.  Over the last decade, pedestrian deaths have increased 46%, from 4,457 in 2011 to 6,516 in 2020.

For more than a decade, highways that prioritize speed over pedestrian safety have contributed to a rise in pedestrian fatalities. Inadequate pathways and insufficient lighting have also played a role. Additionally, within the time period covered by the report, there were significant behavioral abnormalities at play. An increase in unsafe driving that began when Americans saw wide open highways at the beginning of the pandemic has continued as traffic volume returns to more typical levels. 

The Governors Highway Safety Association is a non-profit organization that represents state safety offices that use federal grant funds to solve highway hazards caused by driver conduct behind the wheel. 

 
If you have a traffic ticket you would like to fight, such as a speeding ticket, contact a Miami traffic attorney. If you have reason to believe you unfairly received a red light ticket, contact a red light camera violation attorney.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is an excellent reminder to refocus and accept responsibility for the decisions we make while driving. For a safe journey every time, follow these safety tips:

  • Do you need to send a text message? Pull over to the side of the road and park your car in a secure spot. Sending or reading a text is only safe after that.
  • Assign a “designated texter” to one of your passengers. Allow them to use your phone to answer calls and texts.
  • While driving, do not use any apps, including social media. 
  • Having trouble not texting and driving? Place your phone in the trunk, glove box or back seat of your car until you reach your location.

Our roadways are plagued by a terrible epidemic of distracted driving. In addition to texting while driving, additional harmful behaviors include conversing on the phone or to other passengers in the car, setting your navigation, changing your music, eating food and more. When you’re distracted while driving, you deprive yourself of valuable seconds that may be used to avert a close call or fatal collision.

Throughout April, officers will use local media interviews, school visits and traffic safety presentations to educate the public about the risks of distracted driving. Make a commitment to refrain from texting and other types of distracted driving, and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

 

Visit Hochman & Goldin, P.A. online for additional information about a Miami traffic attorney or red light camera violation attorney.

Have You Received a Traffic Ticket in Florida? Learn Your Options

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Everything is new the first time around. We don’t always know how to deal with these firsts, and traffic tickets are no exception. However, if this is your first ticket, here are your three options of what to do after receiving a traffic ticket:

Pay the Fine and Move On

Remember that paying the penalty could result in points on your license as well as an increase in your insurance premiums.

Pay the Fine and Sign Up for Traffic School

This implies you’ll have to pay both the ticket and the traffic school fees. Most schools need you to attend a class for at least four hours. While online traffic school is available, you must still complete the four-hour equivalent in a classroom.

Fight Your Traffic Ticket in Court

This means you don’t have to pay your ticket until the end of your trial, and you won’t have to pay anything if it’s dismissed. It’s normally advisable to employ legal counsel if you plan to contest your ticket or if you want special arrangements. A Miami traffic attorney can help you avoid traffic school and save time by representing you in all court appearances.

Never ignore or do nothing in response to a traffic ticket. Failure to respond to a traffic ticket can result in further fees and fines, as well as the suspension of your driver’s license. 

More questions about traffic violations? Contact a red light camera violation attorney.

Moving to Florida? Things to Know to Avoid a Traffic Ticket

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Is Florida on your list of possible destinations? These days, it seems like everyone’s moving to the Sunshine State. Florida’s laws may be similar to those in other states, but there are a few things to be aware of to prevent a traffic ticket ruining your move.

Cell Phones and Driving

While it is not unlawful to use a cell phone to make a call while driving, it does make driving more unsafe. In Florida, however, texting while driving is prohibited. If you’re pulled over for texting, the first offense will result in a noncriminal traffic ticket. A second offense, however, will result in a moving violation. As a result, put your phone aside while driving to be safe. 

The Move over Law in Florida

A “move over” statute exists in Florida, requiring cars to safely move over a lane for stopped police enforcement and emergency vehicles, as well as sanitation trucks, utility service vehicles and tow trucks.   When you can’t change lanes, you must slow down 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit. If the posted speed limit is less than 20 mph, however, you must slow to 5 mph.

Motorists and Cyclists

The weather in Florida is ideal for cycling all year. As a result, most public roadways are shared by vehicles and bikers. Bicyclists must ride alongside automobiles because not every road has a designated bike lane. In addition, bicycles have the same rights and obligations on the road as motorists. In other words, bikers must adhere to the same traffic laws as motorists.

 
Visit Hochman & Goldin, P.A. online for additional information about a Miami traffic attorney or red light camera violation attorney.

Dealing With a Misplaced Traffic Ticket

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One of the most common problems that people have is losing their actual traffic ticket. A misplaced ticket can create a slew of complications. If this occurs to you, do not panic as there are several ways to resolve a lost ticket.

The state of Florida’s online system is the first place you should search for a missing traffic ticket. The driver’s license checking tool provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can help you locate your driver’s license. If you are unable to obtain information about your ticket using this tool, it is possible that your ticket has not yet been logged into the online system. If you don’t see it, don’t believe that you won’t be penalized for not paying your ticket.

Since Florida processes traffic tickets on a county level, you’ll need to keep track of where you were when you received the ticket. It’s usually a simple task at hand. You can contact someone in the jurisdiction to enquire about the fine after you know which county the ticket was issued in. You will be required to provide basic information, such as your name and driver’s license number. After that, you should be able to get a replacement from the local jurisdiction. 

Another option for resolving a lost ticket is to seek assistance from a lawyer. Find someone with experience, such as a Miami traffic attorney.

 

Questions about traffic violations? Contact a red light camera violation attorney.

Tips for Dealing with Law Enforcement When You Know You Don’t Deserve a Traffic Ticket

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Many people are unaware of or misinformed about their legal rights when dealing with law enforcement. When you see flashing lights behind your vehicle, here are a few tips on how to deal with police officers more effectively.

 

Be Polite

Allow the officer to begin speaking. The police will usually ask for your driver’s license and registration first. Act non-aggressive and non-defensive. Even if you are noncommittal about inquiries, try to answer the officer’s questions politely.

 

Legality of Police Searching Your Car

Don’t agree to illegal searches or questioning out of fear or a desire for transparency, if you know you’re not doing anything wrong. If you cooperate to the search, it will be considerably more difficult to contest any evidence found in your vehicle. Furthermore, whether you give permission or not, if the police have reasonable grounds to search your vehicle, he or she will do so.

 

Don’t Incriminate Yourself

Until you have a lawyer present, you have the right to remain silent. Keep in mind that whatever you say can and will be used against you in court. Do not lie to a police officer, but if you do speak with a police officer, keep your responses brief.

 

Obtain Legal Counsel

If you have been issued a traffic ticket, contact a Miami traffic ticket lawyer. A lawyer can advise you on what to expect in court and how to present the greatest defense possible if you wish to contest it. 

 
Questions about other traffic violations? Contact a red light camera violation attorney.

How to Avoid the Potential Hidden Costs of a Speeding Ticket

How to Avoid the Potential Hidden Costs of a Speeding TicketIf you are ticketed for speeding in Florida, you may face monetary penalties as well as points on your driver’s license. While most Florida speeding tickets are $500, fines can range from $1,000 to $5,000 if the infraction occurs in a construction or school zone, or if you are caught speeding excessively. How fast you drive over the permitted or stated speed limit determines the number of points awarded to your Florida driver’s license, as well as other severe consequences.

 

If you receive a speeding ticket in Florida, your auto insurance price is likely to rise. However, factors such as your prior driving history, ZIP code, auto insurance provider, and vehicle type can all affect your premium, so your final cost could be greater or cheaper than those indicated above.

 

Additional penalties may be imposed depending on the severity of the traffic offense and your previous driving record. There are, however, additional considerations to consider if you receive a traffic citation in Florida, such as whether or not you want to fight the ticket. If you do, you’ll almost certainly need to appear in court or hire a lawyer.

 

We at Hochman and Goldin have been practicing law for over 20 years, representing people charged with various traffic offenses all around Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. We guarantee you will not receive any points on your driver’s license or your money back. This is solely for civil offenses, and only if no additional tickets have been issued in the previous year. Pay a one-time fee of $69. This fee is for each civil violation and does not include any court fees. We’ll assign you a Miami speeding ticket attorney who will do everything possible to have your case dismissed.

 

Questions about other traffic violations? Contact a Miami traffic attorney.

Proposed Bill to Catch Speeders in School Zones

HochmanGoldin (2)To improve safety, Florida lawmakers are considering allowing cities and counties to deploy cameras to catch speeders in school zones. Those caught driving 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit could be issued a ticket, and in need of a Miami traffic attorney.

 

If the bill is passed in its current form, it would allow cameras to start rolling half an hour before school started and stop half an hour after classes ended. According to the bill, the cameras would identify vehicle speed as you drove through a school zone. The speed cameras would function in a similar way as red light cameras. The registered owner of every car caught on camera would receive a speeding ticket in the mail within 30 days of the incident, without ever engaging with a police officer.

 

The bill’s phrasing does give offenders some discretion, allowing them a free “warning” for a first violation. Following that, fines rise in proportion to the driver’s speed, reaching $500 for exceeding the speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more. All electronic images, videos and documentation of the vehicle as measured by a speed detection system would be available for review to those ticketed. A hearing can also be requested by those cited.

 

Under the present version of the bill, proceeds from each ticket would go to the state Department of Revenue, the local county or municipality, and the school district where the infraction happened. The funds will be used entirely on school transportation and safety programs.

 

Questions about other traffic violations? Contact a red light camera violation attorney.

Most Common Ways to Dispute a Red Light Violation

Most Common Ways to Dispute a Red Light ViolationMany areas around Florida now have red light cameras in place to catch lawbreakers. In fact, Florida has some of the highest red-light violations in the country. However, just because you get a red light ticket doesn’t mean you have to pay the fine. If you received a red light ticket, working with an experienced red light camera violation attorney Miami who can assess your case is critical to challenging your ticket. Three of the most common ways to fight a red light violation in Florida are outlined below:

 

  1. It wasn’t you in the driver’s seat.

 

Although red-light camera violations are assessed to the vehicle owner, in Florida, the violation is applied to the driver, not the vehicle owner. That means that if someone else drives your car and runs a red light, that person is accountable for paying the ticket.

 

  1. Your car did not activate the camera.

 

If more than one vehicle shows in the photo, you can claim that the camera was activated by another vehicle. Pedestrians, onlookers, other drivers and passengers, may be able to produce evidence that another vehicle ran the red light.

 

  1. A defective red light camera was to blame.

 

Occasionally, red light camera systems make mistakes. You have the option of requesting documentation that the camera was recently maintained and was in great working order when it took the photo or video of your car.

 

Received a traffic violation? Our attorneys at Hochman & Goldin, P.A., offer legal assistance for traffic tickets in the Miami area. We may be able to lower the fine amount or possibly have your ticket dismissed entirely. Visit us online or call us today (305) 515-5045.

The Role of Technology in Traffic Violations

HochmanGoldinTechnology has become as much a part of our life as the bed in which we sleep. We look at our phones never to question if the time on the clock is correct. But what if it was wrong? What if your phone’s clock was 30 minutes off and you missed your non-refundable flight as a result?

 

It may appear to be a ridiculous question. But in an autonomous world, where everyday more and more cars are driving themselves, the inherent faith and trust placed in technology has resulted in fewer questions to be asked. This is especially true when it comes to legal issues. One such question often not asked until it’s too late, is who’s accountable if a car on autopilot causes a traffic violation?

 

In the vast majority of cases, the answer is the driver. And by that, we refer to the person behind the wheel. Because, according to the legislation and the corporations behind such automotive technologies, self-driving cars are not as autonomous as we may think. Self-driving cars are still a relatively new technology, and most experts believe they lack the judgment required to determine liability, as it stands now.

 

Big law is slow to change. Even while the law will never progress at the same rate as technology, many people feel that as technology advances, liability will move from the driver to the vehicle. But, until then, it is still the obligation of the human driver to always pay attention to the road, and especially not your phone.

 

More questions about traffic violations? Contact a Miami traffic ticket lawyer.