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Traffic Law

view of bayshore drive in tampa florida at dusk

Traffic Safety Measures on Tampa’s Bayshore Blvd

By | Automotive Safety, Car Accident, Pedestrian Accidents, Traffic Law | No Comments

In May 2018, a mother and toddler were tragically hit and killed by a speeding motorist along Tampa’s scenic Bayshore Boulevard. This senseless and unspeakable loss of life inspired cries for a more pedestrian-friendly roadway. These concerns were recently heard at a city council meeting where Bayshore Boulevard was discussed. The popular roadway, favored by pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike, has been under the microscope after the terrible incident on May 23rd. While it seems like changes can’t come soon enough, fortunately, the city has elected to make multiple changes in a 3 phase project, with efforts aimed at making this busy boulevard a safer place for the community.
Bayshoure Boulevard

Speed Is an Issue

Bayshore Boulevard is a scenic stretch of roadway that runs along Hillsborough Bay in Tampa, Florida. It’s a popular choice for commuters and pedestrians because of its proximity to the water and its long – and mostly straight – stretches of road. The speed limit was recently lowered from 40 miles per hour to 35 in an effort to reduce dangerous speeding. In addition to the speed reduction, the city has also replaced the signage with new, more visible markers in addition to painting the new speed limits onto the roadway itself.

This certainly isn’t enough to deter people from racing along the roadway, which was the cause of the accident that took place in May. A mother was pushing her 2-year-old daughter along in a stroller when the incident happened. Three people were arrested after the collision, being charged with street racing, reaching speeds of 102 miles per hour. In an effort to reduce these kinds of reckless driving events, the city is also going to be narrowing the lanes, creating a wider, more buffered bike path. As the roadway narrows and the bike path is widened, traffic should naturally slow. At least that is the intended result. Both lowering the speed limits and narrowing the roadways should improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians that continue to take in the beautiful scenery offered by the boulevards alternative travel methods.

Lighted Crosswalks

Lighted Crosswalks

Expected to be finished in October, the city is also installing several lighted, pedestrian-activated crosswalks, something many community members feel has been sorely missing and long overdue. Adding several more crosswalks is still under consideration as these improvements continue their development.

Other Improvements

Conspicuity plaques, or signs that inform motorists of road rules, are also being placed along the roadway to promote safety awareness. The city is also working to fix the sidewalk gaps that exist on the west side of Bayshore Boulevard, increasing the pedestrian safety along the walkway. As part of the 3 phase implementation of this project, the city is planning to add more bike lanes south to Gandy Boulevard, providing cyclists more commuting options.

More Work Still To Be Done

Bayshore Boulevard is hardly the only dangerous roadway in Tampa, as many citizens pointed out at the recent city council meeting. Bay to Bay Boulevard is yet another dangerous and crowded route. In any case, the city is taking action and considering more alternatives as a way to make the city safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. As Tampa continues to grow, the safety of the people that inhabit the city becomes ever more crucial, especially on the roadways which are increasingly dangerous. What’s clear is that it shouldn’t take a tragic loss of life for the city to take action. Bayshore Boulevard has long been dangerous to those that travel on it. It remains to be seen if these new changes will reduce accidents, but it’s a start for a roadway that has long needed more safety improvements.

SUV sitting on a road with sunset in the background

Tampa Car Accident Attorney

By | Car Accident, Traffic Law | No Comments

Have you recently been injured in an auto accident in the state of Florida? Are you searching for a Tampa personal injury attorney? This article will help you determine whether you should hire a lawyer to represent you, what you should look for when considering an attorney, and what your expectations for your representation should be.

At The Scene Of The Accident

If you’ve just been in a collision, take a deep breath and do the following before anything else:

  • Move To Safety – If the incident is of minor damage and your vehicle is near traffic, move the vehicle out of harm’s way and turn on your flashers.
  • Call For Help – Dial 911 and wait for help.
  • Gather Information – Take down the other driver’s information, including license plate and telephone numbers, registration, and insurance documentation. Take lots of photos, both of damage to the vehicle and to the surrounding scene.
  • Do Not Admit Fault – Be mindful of what you say immediately after an accident, and do not apologize. An apology can be taken as an admission of fault and will be used against you during litigation.

Do You Need Representation?

If the extent of the damages are minimal and you’re able to settle the dispute on your own, the answer is usually no. If, however, there is serious personal injury and you fear the insurance claim from the other driver may not cover the extent of the damages, you should consider hiring an attorney. When in doubt, it’s always wise to consult with an attorney and begin inquiring about the details of your insurance claim. In any case, be sure to keep detailed records of hospital visits, bills and any other conditions that are a direct result of your accident.

Services A Lawyer Will Provide

During the challenging time that follows being involved in an accident, the last thing you may want to do is arrange documents and investigate the details of your accident. By hiring an attorney, you can expect that they will handle keeping your information organized while you recover. Consider that a lawyer will investigate your case, attaining the following documents to build a successful personal injury case on your behalf. Police reports, traffic video or photo, the 911 call recording, witness statements, physical injuries, medical records and driver history, both yours and the other party’s records, will all be collected and organized. Once the comprehensive information from your case is compiled your attorney will use the information to draft a demand letter addressed to the defendant, which will claim the financial total of the damages owed. Your lawyer will then negotiate on your behalf in order to get you the largest settlement possible.

Types Of Damages

The types of damages you will claim typically fall into two categories:

  • Special – These types of damages are usually economical ones. For example, medical bills, lost wages and property damage are all special damage claims.
  • General – These damages are referred to as non- economic suffering. Mental anguish, physical pain, emotional damage, and loss of companion are all considered general damages.

In the case of a special damage claim, documents can be assembled to substantiate your claim. A general damages claim, however, can be more difficult to prove so it is important to have a conversation about this with your attorney at the beginning stages of working together.

What To Consider

When looking for a personal injury attorney, the following qualities are of utmost importance:

  • Licensed to practice in your state
  • Specializes in personal injury law
  • Has experience negotiating
  • Has trial experience

Personal injuries suffered in an auto accident can have permanent effects that are costly and, in some cases, debilitating. Insurance companies by nature will want to pay as little as possible. Hiring an attorney to defend you and get you the compensation you deserve will have a lasting effect, allowing you to move on and put a terrible incident behind you.

Red-Light and Speed Enforcement Cameras – Debated Pros and Cons

By | Traffic Law | No Comments

With the increasing presence of red light cameras in Tampa and other south-central Florida cities, the controversy over these devices persists. Arizona-based red light camera operator, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has installed several hundred cameras throughout the sunshine state. ATS company workers believe that the cameras positively modify driver behavior and claim that nine out of ten drivers who have received a ticket for running a red light have not received a second. However, many drivers question the intended purpose of the cameras and believe they have been implemented simply to make money. Furthermore, some drivers believe it’s an ineffective attempt at traffic safety.

A similar argument exists regarding the same type of technology used in unmanned/automated speed enforcement cameras. Although automated speed enforcement cameras are not currently used by officials in the sunshine state, Florida is not among the 12 states that currently have laws banning these devices. Many traffic law advocates fear that they may be seen on Florida roads in the next few years.

Below is a list of Pros and Cons concerning the use of this technology as a form of traffic regulation.

Automated Red Light and Speed Enforcement Camera Pros:

  • Accident frequency, particularly T-bone or broadside collisions, is reduced at intersections with red light cameras.
  • Traffic law violations drop significantly in areas with red light or speed enforcement cameras.
  • Pedestrian fatalities have decreased at the majority of intersections with red light cameras.

Automated Red Light and Speed Enforcement Camera Cons:

  • Municipalities install enforcement cameras with a primary focus on budgetary revenues, rather than increased public safety.
  • Enforcement cameras offer greater financial benefit for out-of-state operators, like ATS, over that of local city and town governments.
  • Factoring in legal fees and salaries associated with enforcing camera violations, some municipalities have realized net revenue losses stemming from these system installations.

References:

Governors’ Highway Safety Association – http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/auto_enforce.html

The Daily Beast – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/08/use-of-red-light-and-speeding-cameras-increases-but-some-protest.html