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New State Law Will Require Driving Test for Floridians With Three Crash-Related Tickets

A little-noticed state law passed last month will send some drivers to get their driving skills re-tested, the Miami Herald reported July 10. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the law will require drivers to repeat their driving tests if they get three crash-related moving violations in three years. The law requires both a written test and a behind-the-wheel test that is normally taken by teenagers and other first-time drivers. The goal is to stop drivers considered chronically at fault for accidents — in essence, people considered bad drivers. Current law requires that people cited in two crashes take a written test, but it does not require practical, behind-the-wheel testing.

The law will not apply retroactively, although people who get a third crash-related ticket after Jan. 1, 2010 may have to retake their tests if the ticket is a third within a three-year period. However, the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has identified 3,277 drivers who would be required to retake their tests if the law were already effective. Of those drivers, 64% are white males under the age of 40; a third are under the age of 25. And 595 have at least one DUI conviction. The executive director of the DHSMV, Electra Bustle, said she believed the law would be successful if it managed to produce even one fewer crash.

As a Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer, I know from experience that drivers who get into serious accidents tend to have a string of other accidents behind them. That’s why I believe this law will ultimately help make Florida roads safer. Traffic citations are not ironclad proof of fault in the accident, but they are strong evidence that we use regularly in our Davie car crash lawsuits to establish who authorities believed was at fault. Auto accidents cause wrongful deaths and very serious injuries, including permanent, lifelong disabilities like brain damage. If requiring drivers with spotty records to retake the tests helps reform their behavior — or spot dangerous drivers who should be taken off the road — it’s worth the extra effort and inconvenience.

If you’ve been in a serious automobile accident that was caused by someone else’s bad driving, you have the right in Florida to hold that person legally responsible. In a Miami car wreck lawsuit, you can claim compensation for all of the injuries and damages the accident caused, including medical bills and other financial costs as well as compensation for a serious injury, permanent disability or wrongful death. Cohn, Smith & Cohn has more than 25 years of experience representing accident victims throughout Florida in lawsuits like these. We’re proud of our strong record of results in those cases, winning money our clients can use to pay for medical care, make ends meet and eventually move past their accidents.

Cohn, Smith & Cohn offers free, confidential consultations. To set one up, please contact us online or call our main office in Hollywood at (954) 431-8100.

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