With the beginning of the new year, come some new laws taking effect in Florida. Here is what you should know.
“While many drivers admit to presenting a mobile phone while driving, most agree it is safer to eliminate the practice,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida's leading independent car insurance agency.
A new law strengthens the ban on texting and driving. Drivers
must go completely hands-free when driving through school crossings, school
zones and active work zones. The offense has become considered a principal offense
meaning law enforcement can pull you over if they see you on the phone. Using
devices while driving during these zones can get you a moving violation ($60 base)
and three points on your driver's license.
The National Safety Council reports a percent reduction in drivers using mobile phones since last year. Statewide bans are viewed to possess helped the dpi go down recently.
A new law provides greater protection for police and fire
department animals. Anyone who kills or severely injures a police, fire or
search-and-rescue dog or police horse, will be faced with a second-degree
felony. This increases the amount of possible time in jail from 5 to 15 years.
The American Kennel Club (AKC), reports police dogs assist police force in many commonly, apprehension. But police force dogs are also used with detection in addition to search and rescue.
“Hazing used to be considered harmless activities for initiation right into a group, but kids are taking it to far,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida's top independent car insurance agency.
This new anti-hazing law expands punishment past the person
who conducts the hazing. Third-degree felony charges can be brought against
those who help coordinate or solicit others during a hazing act where the
victim is permanently injured or dies. The law also offers immunity for all those
who call 911 or campus security for medical help during a hazing incident.
These new laws should help better protect our communities and eliminate
abuses, providing an increase in overall safety.