It kind of feels like a game of cat and mouse with the police. What I mean is that everyone breaks the traffic laws. Everyone speeds, even a little, once in a while. Everyone occasionally rolls through a stop sign when no other cars are around. This includes turning right on red without fully stopping. We even flash our lights to warn other drivers about speed traps we pass. The police have a lot of tools in their toolbox to catch us. They have red light cameras that work 24/7. The cops have radar guns and hide in bushes like children playing hide and seek. They now have dashboard mounted scanners to read hundreds of license plates a minute to find stolen cars. However their latest tool seems almost too comical to be true, but it is. First a little background.
SEATBELT AND TEXTING LAWS
About ten years ago, the legislators in the State of Florida realized that people were dying because they would not wear their seatbelts. So they passed a law that if you did not wear your seatbelt you would get a traffic ticket. However, they made it a secondary offense. This means that the cops could not pull you over for not wearing a seatbelt, but could ticket you for not wearing a seatbelt if they pulled you over for a primary offense like speeding. As you can imagine, not many seatbelt tickets were given out and people continued to die. A few years later, not wearing a seatbelt became a primary offense. The problem is that the cop can’t see if you are wearing a seatbelt until he is on top of you. Thus, even today, not many people are cited for failing to wear a seatbelt since you can put it on once you see the red and blue lights.
Texting is going through a similar problem now. As one of the last states to enact a ban on texting and driving, Florida’s new anti texting law is useless. Like not wearing a seatbelt was years ago, it is a secondary offense if you get caught violating another law. So to get a ticket for texting and driving, you would have to be texting while getting pulled over, or the cop would have to pull up next to you and see you texting and then find another reason to pull you over. Thus, the law is toothless as we say in the legal world.
REALLY BIG BROTHER
Have no fear; the cops are one step ahead of you. There is a pilot program in TN that just started to help cops see you text before you see them. It could be in South Florida sooner than later as texting and driving kills more people. The cops are using semi trucks. You know the big rigs that pull the 18 wheelers you see on the road. They are ten feet off the ground and can look down into your car. The way it works is as follows. The cop sees you speeding or failing to signal. He does not pull you over right away. First he pulls his big rig next to you and looks down to see if you are texting or checking your email. Then if he sees you texting, he pulls up behind you and pulls you over or calls his buddy in the cop car up the road. Feel violated. You should. It’s one thing to have truck drivers looking down at you when you drive, but to have the police doing it feels even slimier. So far the TN program is a success and you know what that means. If cops can hand out more ticket and make more money for the government, it’s a matter of time before Florida becomes a Big Rig ticket machine. So if you get a ticket, call an experienced traffic ticket lawyer anytime for a free consultation.