Orlando Injury Law Blog

STOP for School Buses

Wednesday, February 04, 2015
The current law in Florida requires drivers traveling in both directions to stop for a school bus that has its stop sign out.  On roads with a raised median, barrier or other open space, traffic heading in the opposite direction does not have to stop.  The fine currently is $265.00 and suspension of your driver's license.   After several recent severe injuries and fatalities to children, a new bill is up for Senate vote called "Gabby's Law" which would make it a crime to pass a stopped school bus, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $500.00.  A second conviction would bring the jail time up to six months and the fine up to $1,000.00.  Gabby was killed by a car shortly after getting off her school bus in DeBary in 2010.  She was 12.

Orlando Is Riskiest City for Pedestrians in US

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The city of Orlando in Florida is the most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country. In Orlando, pedestrians have the highest risk of suffering serious or even fatal accidents.

The listing was compiled by Smart Growth America, and was based on a Pedestrian Danger Index for all of the major cities in the country, as well as all the states. Florida was rated the most dangerous state in the country, and Orlando was rated as the riskiest city for pedestrians. In fact, Florida accounted for the top four positions on the list.

Orlando had a pedestrian Danger Index of 244.3. Between 2003 and 2012, the Orlando-Kissimmee metropolitan region saw 583 pedestrian fatalities.

Florida accounted for some of the most dangerous areas in the country for pedestrians. At second place on the list was the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region, with 874 fatalities over the study period, and a Pedestrian Danger Index of 190.1. In third place was the Jacksonville region, with 359 fatalities during that period of time, and a Pedestrian Danger Index of 182.7. Rounding out Florida's presence on the list was the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area with a total of 1,539 pedestrian accident fatalities recorded during the study period and a Pedestrian Danger Index of 145.8.

Better pedestrian safety infrastructure could help keep many pedestrians safer in Florida. The state has a severe shortage of safety infrastructure, including adequate number of marked and designated crosswalks, not just in Orlando, but across the state, as the study shows. Florida’s pedestrian safety record is dismal, and things will not get better unless state transportation agencies understand that this state has a serious pedestrian safety problem, and that people in the state are being discouraged from walking purely because of safety concerns.

Orlando Initiative to Make Streets More Pedestrian-Friendly

Monday, June 02, 2014

It is one of the most pedestrian–unfriendly cities in a state that ranks number one in the country for the number of people killed in accidents while walking. Orlando has a massive challenge ahead of it, as it launches an initiative to help reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians on its streets.

According to NPR, the Semoran Blvd. in Orlando is one example of exactly why the city is so unsafe for pedestrians. There have been at least 28 pedestrian accidents on this stretch of road over the last seven years alone. Six people died in those accidents. Florida already has a terrible reputation as far as pedestrian safety is concerned, and is regarded as the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians.

However, some city planners in Orlando have been working quietly behind the scenes to understand what changes can be made to the current infrastructure to bring down fatality numbers. According to at least one planner, there are a number of features on Semoran Blvd. that make it very dangerous for pedestrians. For starters, this road has six lanes, and no median. It is also a major traffic artery, and cars travel here at very high speeds of at least 40 mph.

This also happens to be a pedestrian-magnet because there are many commercial and convenience facilities around. Many pedestrians cross the road in the middle of the street across six lanes of traffic to get to the other side.

Apart from making changes to the infrastructure, the initiative in Orlando will include a campaign called Best Foot Forward, which includes regular sting operations, and citations of motorists who endanger pedestrian safety by breaking rules, especially in crosswalks. Schools will also include pedestrian safety as part of their curriculum.

Motorcycle Pedestrian Fatalities Drive up 2012 Accident Toll

Friday, November 01, 2013

The number of traffic accident fatalities that occurred in 2012 was a significant increase over 2011, and increases in the number of people killed in motorcycle and pedestrian accidents, is being blamed for that increase.

In 2012, there were 33,561 traffic accident fatalities which was an increase of 1,802 fatalities over the previous year. Much of that increase was attributed to an increase in the number of motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians killed in accidents. In those three categories alone, there were 9,426 fatalities in 2012. Florida saw an increase of 24 fatalities from 2011.

Last year also saw significant numbers of people being killed in alcohol-related car accidents. About 10,322 people were killed in accidents blamed on an impaired driver.

Last year's data also marks an increase in traffic accident fatalities for the first time since 2005. The increase in traffic accident fatalities could be due to the fact that more people are driving now, with the recovering economy.

However, there is hope. There is reason to believe that 2003 fatality numbers are on a downward trend, although it is far too early to make any predictions.

There is no denying the fact that there has been little progress in reducing the number of people killed in pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle accidents. These are some of the most vulnerable people on our roads, and over the years, there seems to have been little progress in helping ensure their safety. For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities in pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents actually increased for the three third consecutive year in 2012.

The federal agency is already planning strategic measures to reduce the number of traffic accident fatalities. The feds plan to speed up a program that would encourage auto manufacturers to install seat belt interlock systems to encourage seat belt use.

New Pedestrian Safety Initiative in Florida

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A new Florida pedestrian safety initiative aims at cutting down the number of pedestrians injured or killed in accidents across the state of Florida. The crackdown is called Operation Best Foot Forward, and is aimed at cutting at least 50% of pedestrian-related injuries and fatalities in Orlando and across Orange County over the next 5 years.

The Best Foot Forward initiative includes the participation of public safety officials, educators, engineers, civic leaders, pedestrian safety advocates, Florida transportation planners, as well as concerned citizens of the state of Florida. The aim of the initiative is to prevent pedestrian-related injuries and fatalities, and make Orlando and Orange County roads safer for pedestrians to use.

Across Florida, Orlando pedestrian accident lawyers have found a concerted effort to encourage walking as a mode of transportation, and Best Foot Forward wants to encourage more people to walk, while making sure that there's a safe environment for them to do so.

Apart from education and awareness, the initiative also includes stronger law-enforcement activity. Orange County police officers have been committed to cutting down unsafe walking practices by pedestrians as well as risky driving practices by motorists. Over the summer, the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department issued more than 1,600 warnings to drivers who did not yield to pedestrians at a marked crosswalk.

If you are a driver, you must know this. Under Florida law, you are required to yield to pedestrians when you see them on a crosswalk. Slow down when you approach a pedestrian on a crosswalk, and look out for pedestrians, even when you're not near a crosswalk. Yield to pedestrians when you see them at intersections, even if you do not find any pavement markings.

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