Unlicensed drivers increase risk of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Gregg Hollander | February 23, 2011 | Personal Injury
A recent article in Florida Today examined the issue of Florida drivers who drive without a valid driver’s license.
Our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys are concerned about the growing number of unlicensed drivers because they are also the most likely to be driving without insurance.
The possibility of a Fort Lauderdale hit-and-run accident is most likely when a driver involved in the crash has a suspended driver’s license.
According to the article, there are any numbers of reasons your license can become suspended. Committing crimes or failing to pay child support, traffic fines, or insurance are among them. The economic downturn has also led to an increase in uninsured drivers, which can result in the loss of your driver’s license.
In an effort to block pointless prison sentences, the law changed in 2008 regarding habitual traffic offenders. Habitual offenders, defined as drivers having at least four major traffic convictions, could no longer be charged with a felony for failing to pay a fine. The only exception to this law is when a driver causes a person’s death in a crash and is found negligent. The change in legislation has resulted in an increase in the number of drivers without a valid license. Habitual offenders are no longer afraid of the consequences knowing they won’t be sent to prison.
Case in point was the man reported in the Florida Today article. The gentleman was pulled over in his SUV in early 2010 and arrested and charged with habitual traffic offender driving with a suspended license. A few months later in May, the charge was considered inadmissible in court and dropped based on the fact that the arresting officer didn’t have reasonable cause to pull over the habitual offender.
Five days later, the same man struck a motorcycle with his SUV while turning left at a green light. The driver of the motorcycle sustained internal injuries and was in a coma for two months. His companion riding on the back of the bike was killed instantly. The driver of the SUV is still awaiting charges after a long delay as authorities awaited the resulted of toxicology reports.
Legislators need to recognize this as a problem and show a firm hand in dealing with habitual traffic offenders. Drivers with a suspended license put victims at risk not only for physical injuries, but paying for those injuries financially. Victims of an accident involving a driver with a suspended license should seek legal advice immediately to help protect their rights.