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Home / Articles / Columnists / Legal Advice /  Slow Drivers
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Monday, August 5,2013

Slow Drivers

By David Shiner  

by David I. Shiner, Shiner manages a boutique law firm headquartered in Boca Raton. Mr. Shiner was recently awarded an AV rating by Martindale Hubble which recognizes him by his peers for his outstanding professionalism, diligence, and capabilities. When not in court, Mr. Shiner enjoys fishing, playing golf, collecting watches and spending time with his family. Mr. Shiner has been successful representing people in all areas of personal injury, motor vehicle accident, and consumer class action litigations for over a decade. David I. Shiner Shiner Law Group 561-368-3363 Office Info@InCourt.com www.InCourt.com

Picture yourself driving along a Florida highway; the posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour, which – of course - you are obeying. You pass slower moving vehicles by merging into the left lane just like you’re supposed to; however, driving in the far left lane is a car traveling much slower than the speed limit. The person driving this car seems oblivious to the current traffic patterns and you notice multiple cars aggressively speed up to swerve in front of the slow moving vehicle to get around it. But of course, when a vehicle is required to pass on the right, as cars aggressively weave through traffic, the likelihood of getting in a car accident is greatly increased.

It is unlikely that this scenario is unfamiliar to Florida drivers. It is only natural to look to the aggressive driver as the culprit. In fact, it is a well-known law throughout the country that if you drive over the posted speed limit, or in a reckless manner, a law enforcement officer has the authority to pull you over and issue a traffic citation. What’s more, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, 66 percent of all annual traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving actions, such as passing on the right, running red lights, and tailgating. Furthermore, at one time, aggressive drivers caused 12,610 injuries.

However, slow drivers are often at the core of many drivers’ frustrations. Notably, driving substantially slower than the speed limit can be the first link in the causal chain leading up to a car accident. At last, this problem has been met with a solution. On June 12, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 7125 into Florida law, which became effective July 1, 2013. It states that drivers on any road with two or more lanes in the same direction may not drive more than 10 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit in the left lane if they know they are being overtaken. It does not apply to drivers preparing for a left turn at an intersection. Police are authorized to issue these drivers a $60 ticket and three points for this violation. Hopefully, this new law will result in a decrease in aggressive drivers who become angry when stuck behind a slow driver who is unwilling to move out of the fast lane. In other words, to eliminate the “slow driver link” in the causal chain is to eliminate the accidents that stem from it.

Additionally, while on the topic of increasing safety on public roadways in Florida, it is important to emphasize Florida’s “Move Over Law.” This law was enacted in the year 2002 in an effort to decrease the number of accidents caused by motorists against law enforcement officers, emergency officials, and tow truck drivers who are injured or killed during stops on Florida highways and roads. Specifically, this law states that when an authorized emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe shall vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, and shall reduce the vehicles speed to 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit. If the area has a posted speed limit is less than 20 miles per hour, drivers must travel 5 miles per hour. This is an important law to be aware of because violations put both yourself and public safety personnel at risk. A violation of this law can result in a fine and points on your license.

As a personal injury attorney who has witnessed the devastating effects that motor vehicle accidents may cause, it is my goal to advocate for legislation, such as the ones discussed in this article, that were created for the purpose of making our roads safer.

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