Here in Florida, front seat passengers are required by law to wear seat belts. In fact, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle if passengers do not comply. Furthermore, all passengers under 18 must wear a seat belt or be restrained by a child car seat regardless of where they ride in the car. The fine for a child not properly restrained is $60, while adult seatbelt violations incur a fine of $30.
Despite this, a recent survey designed to measure the effectiveness of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign found that more than 12% of Florida motorists don’t wear seat belts. The survey found that the worst seat belt offenders are males, pickup truck drivers, Central Floridians, and travelers on local roads. Women and those over age 60 who use South Florida highways are the most likely to buckle up.
However, seat belt use did increase by 2.2% after the safety belt campaign, so that’s good news for Florida safety officials.
Sources: State of Florida Seat Belt Laws, DMVFlorida.org
More drivers using seat belts in Florida, survey says, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 14, 2010 (more…)
Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys read that the Miramar Police have a hot new ride. When this eye-catching cruiser stops at a traffic light, officers say people roll down their windows and snap photos. It even won second place in Law and Order Magazine’s 2010 Police Vehicle Design Contest for best community relations car.
The custom creation is wrapped in gold and orange graffiti and features 22-inch rims with blue and red lights. It also displays exterior messages such as “Committed to Community Service.”
The inspiration behind the vehicle came when officers designed they needed a “community piece” that would grab kids’ attention at community events. It was designed in part by children from the Police Athletic League, who suggested more graphics including displaying the term “Five-O,” street slang for police officers.
Source: Customized ‘Five-O’ cruiser a winner for Miramar police, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 8, 2010 (more…)
Earlier this month, a stand-off between two angry motorists left a 33-year-old man dead. The Broward Sheriff’s Office says the case is closed and the shooter will not be charged because investigators determined that he acted in self-defense.
Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law states that a person may shoot to kill if he or she feels in danger of death or great bodily harm. According to witnesses, the slain man jumped out of the Honda Civic his girlfriend was driving and charged towards the shooter’s Toyota Tacoma and tried to open the door to grab him. He was only holding a cigarette lighter in his hand, but he was fatally shot in the heart.
A criminal defense attorney not involved in the case said that the shooter was in the clear after the victim reached into the truck. Prosecutors have fought the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, saying it can be misinterpreted and manipulated. Prior to 2005, Florida residents only had to the right to fight back in the their homes, but a new law passed in 2005 allows them to do so regardless of location.
Source: Florida law backs shooter in Pompano road rage case, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 17, 2010 (more…)
Here in Broward County, the Sheriff’s Office has tabled its plans to close a jail wing in Pompano Beach. The closure plan would have reduced the office’s budget by $5 million; however it would have also pushed jail occupancy to 102 percent for which the county could be fined $1,000 a day for overcrowding. The original plan was reportedly created when jail occupancy was lower.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing with the controversial demotion of 254 deputies who work in the jails and the elimination of a hot meal at work for jail employees. All employees will be subject to a wage freeze.
The union has fought this plan, but a special magistrate ruled in favor of the Sheriff, saying that public sector employees need to adjust their pay expectations.
Our Palm Beach County traffic lawyers have learned that the FHP is teaming up with cell phone service provider Verizon to introduce an awareness campaign aimed at teen drivers. The campaign, called “Danger Thumbs” will help educate young motorists about the dangers of driving and texting. The campaign began earlier this month at a driver’s ed class in Pembroke Pines.
Verizon’s involvement in the campaign includes contests, surveys, quizzes, and fan pages on social media sites like Facebook. Verizon says it has banned employees from texting while on the job or in a company vehicle.
Source: FHP’s anti-texting campaign to hit schools this semester, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 3, 2010 (more…)
Florida Criminal Lawyers