Florida has a teen driving problem. No one denies that. The highest per capita rate for fatal traffic accidents involving teens in the nation is in Florida. There might be many reasons for that. Many roads in Florida are extremely congested and people often drive faster than they should in heavy traffic. Florida also has a lot of elderly drivers who often cause problems for others on the road, especially new teenage drivers. The question is what to do about Florida’s teen driving problem? In the past, teens were just given tickets like anyone else. The tickets are expensive enough for adults, but for teens without a lot of income they can be even more burdensome. I speak from experience. As a teen growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I got about 10 tickets before I graduated high school. I worked to pay for insurance, gas and traffic tickets. The thing is, I was not a crazy driver. Just very unlucky. Good news though, in Broward County there is a new teen driving court that is supposed to help with the problem of teen drivers and help relieve the burden of paying the tickets.
Now, a teenager who gets a Broward speeding ticket can go to the new teen traffic court. Rather than paying the fine, the teenager might be ordered to do community service and/or have restrictions placed against his or her license. The teenage driver also does not receive any points against his or her license. They even have special classes available for teenage speeders to teach them the importance of following the rules of the road. That all sounds great at first glance. The ability to get rid of a traffic ticket with no fine and no points against a driver’s license is great for adults, let alone for teenagers. But, is the cost really worth it? The answer depends on what punishments the Broward teen driving court hands out. In one case, a teenager who received a Broward speeding ticket was ordered to perform 30 hours of community service and received a driving curfew. In the abstract, that does not seem like much of a price to pay. However, if instead of doing community service the teenager had worked at a part-time job for $10 an hour, the teenager could have earned $300.
That makes the real cost of the Broward speeding ticket $300 for that teenager. Simply paying the fine for speeding tickets is usually cheaper than that. Hiring a Florida traffic ticket lawyer to fight the ticket would have cost far less. Normally, the lawyer only costs around $69. This teenage driver could have worked a part-time job, hired a lawyer and been $220 ahead before taxes. The deal offered by Broward’s teen traffic court does not sound so great when it is put in that light. Something does need to be done about Florida’s teen driving problem. However, we need to be certain that we reach the right solutions and that we are being fair to the teen drivers. A teenager who gets a Broward speeding ticket should not have to pay more than any other driver. For some teenagers, Broward’s new court might be just the thing they need. For others, it won’t be. Teenagers who get Broward speeding tickets should talk to an attorney before deciding what to do. If it is easier and cheaper to hire an attorney to deal with the ticket, why not use the attorney instead of Broward’s new teen traffic court? Teens who get tickets can always call our office for free consultations about what they should do in their particular cases.