Growing Population Means Higher Risk for Motorists and Pedestrians
HERNANDO – It’s that time of the year again and I’m not talking about the Holidays, I’m referring to the influx of migratory residents, or “snow birds,” who head south for the winter. As our population grows, so do the number of vehicles on our roadways; increasing safety concerns for motorists and pedestrians alike.
In an effort to help educate those who may not be aware of the “rules of the road” we put together a few tips to help make travelers feel more at ease before getting behind the wheel, putting on walking shoes, or pedaling a bike.
According to the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, The driver of a motor vehicle and front seat passengers must wear a seatbelt. In addition, anyone under the age of 18, seated in the rear of a vehicle is also required to wear a seatbelt.
Child car seat laws are often confusing so here are the facts: Children 5 years of age and under are to be secured in a federally approved child restraint device. As of January 1st 2015, children aged 4 and 5 will have to be secured in a car seat or booster seat.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of all, especially when they come into close proximity with motor vehicles. According to the FHSMV, cyclists are to ride WITH traffic not against it and they are to always obey the same traffic laws as a motor vehicle. Cyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet.
Also, for those who believe drinking and riding a bicycle is a legal alternative to drinking and driving, think again – you could face charges of Driving Under the Influence if stopped by law enforcement.
Pedestrians on foot are required to walk against traffic. This enables the pedestrian to observe oncoming traffic and avoid a collision in the event that a driver is not paying attention or loses control of their vehicle.
These are just a few of the most important facts to help those who may not have been aware of Florida’s highway safety rules. For more information go to the FHSMV at www.flhsmv.gov
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