driving

How Madonna Shaped My Romance With I-95

Feb 23, 2014
Clark Perks

In 1990, when we were both 22 years old, my friend Clark and I drove from New Jersey to the Canadian border, bought a box of donuts, turned the car around, and drove the entire length of the southbound Interstate 95 non-stop, as quickly as possible. It was what we called a “high-velocity vacation."

For reasons unclear we decided to only listen to one song the entire way: Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.” We had the cassingle.

Devilish Commute: How South Florida Lives With I-95

Jan 13, 2014
Gregory Castillo / Miami Herald

The U.S. Census 2006-2010 American Communities Survey says the most popular commute is, by far, from Broward to Miami-Dade County. It estimates 125,000 make that drive to work every day.

For nearly an hour and a half, Broward-to-Dade commuters sit on Interstate 95's crowded lanes, some investing in express-lane tolls while others face the red-eyed inertia of cars ahead.

One commuter says of her peers' brake lights: “Look at them. Red little demon eyes stopping you in your tracks. Interfering with your making a living."

Express-Lane Congestion Elicits Toll Hikes On I-95

Dec 19, 2013
Xemenendura / Wikimedia Commons

Life in the fast lane is more popular, more expensive and more congested than ever.

The Florida Department of Transportation says entry into the 95 Express lanes ranges from $0.25 to a $7.00 maximum, meaning drivers can only be charged up to that amount depending on how many tolls they pass on one trip. The system’s "dynamic tolling" increases prices as the lanes get more congested. By driving up prices, traffic is driven back into the general-purpose lanes, easing congestion on the express lanes.

samsungtomorrow/flickr

Florida drivers are required to carry proof of insurance.

Those who are pulled over in Miami-Dade County and can’t show proof of coverage will get a $129 ticket. (It drops to $10 if proof is provided with 30 days that the driver had insurance at the time of the citation.)

Creative Commons Via Flickr user Steven Damron

As Florida's texting while driving ban goes into effect, local police officers are still figuring out the best way to enforce the new law.

"This is something new to all of us," said Freddy Cruz, a sergeant with the City of Miami Police Department. "This is going to be quite a challenge, but from an educational standpoint, we have to educate the public on the dangers [of texting while driving].

Creative Commons via Wikipedia User Ed Brown

Florida's new law banning texting while driving went into effect on October 1.

Governor Rick Scott signed SB 52 into law back in May, making Florida the 41st state to ban texting while driving. To some, though, the law does not go far enough.

The brunt of the new law is meant to deter drivers from sending or reading text messages. But it bans pretty much anything that requires "manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters." So no emailing, searching the Internet, or dialing a phone number.

Florida's New Texting While Driving Ban Takes Effect Oct. 1

Sep 30, 2013
IntelFreePress/Flickr

It's official. No more texting and driving in the state of Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott was in South Florida on Tuesday to sign SB 52, legislation championed by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) for the last four years. 

Under the new law, Florida will join a large majority of states in prohibiting texting while driving. As a secondary offense, however, drivers must be stopped for a separate alleged traffic violation before being ticketed for texting while driving. 

C. DiMattei

Sixteen-year-old Webster Jean is driving around on city streets, left hand on the wheel, right hand holding a smartphone.  As he reads and responds to his text messages, he repeatedly veers across the double-yellow lines.

And then --  wham.

"I crashed,"  says Jean with a chuckle.

Jean tee-bones another car – but he’s fine.  The teenager is just taking a spin in a texting-while-driving simulator brought to Park Vista High School by wireless carrier AT&T. 

Christine DiMattei

It was a humdinger of a story.

A Miami police officer in a marked squad car is pursued, pulled over and handcuffed by a Florida state trooper after speeding down the turnpike like race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

A dash-cam video of that pre-dawn October chase in 2011 went viral and sparked a three-month investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper into how local police officers routinely endangered the general public through reckless driving.

poka0059 / Flickr

After several failed bills and a decade’s worth of debate, texting and driving remains legal in Florida – and the most recently proposed bill wouldn’t change that. But drivers could be charged with vehicular homicide in the case of an accident.

According to the News Service of Florida,

This Bill Could Mean Tickets From School Buses

Feb 15, 2013
Arvind Balaraman / freedigitalphotos.net

A familiar yellow school bus slows to pick up a group of giddy children at the corner. Florida drivers, perhaps caught in the morning rush to work, know they’re supposed to stop. After all, the bus’s retractable red stop sign and flashing lights serve as glaring reminders. But are motorists actually following the law?

taestell

Florida is one of only 11 states that does not prohibit texting while driving.  Though state legislators have already introduced 3 texting ban bills for the upcoming session, similar bills have failed in the past several years. 

Is Florida Driving Us Crazy?

Jan 25, 2013
JASElabs

On the Florida Roundup: From immigration reform to gay rights, we’ll discuss how the president’s inauguration speech resonated here.  

The Dolphins win the first battle in their fight for public funding to renovate Sun Life Stadium, with the Miami-Dade County Commission agreeing to ask the state for an increase in the hotel tax.  But Florida state lawmakers might not be receptive.

J. Clark/Flickr

Safe driving is the focus of two proposed bills being filed in Tallahassee this session. One bill addresses texting while driving. The other bill deals with slow people in the fast lane.

According to the News Service of Florida, Senator Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican, believes this year will be the year her texting-while-driving ban passes.

This will be her fourth attempt.

Although the bill has passed the Senate twice before, Detert says it has never been heard in the House.

FLorida DMV

A South Florida lawmaker filed legislation Friday to repeal the law allowing the use of red light cameras, following a report earlier this week that says intersections where they're used have seen drops in crashes in most places.

Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, seeks to end the use of the cameras, saying they unfairly dole out tickets to people who can't defend themselves, noting that malfunctioning cameras can't be cross-examined.

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