JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced that the total number of accident deaths rose even though the total number of fatalities dropped in 2020.*
As part of Florida’s Hit-and-Run Awareness Month, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles launched a “Stay at the Scene” campaign for February 2021. The campaign’s goal is to educate motorists on what they must do when involved in an accident, explain the punishments for not remaining at the accident scene, and how witnesses of hit-and-run accidents can report tips to law enforcement.
Florida law requires drivers to promptly stop when involved in an accident that results in property damage, injury or death. In Florida, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death is a felony, and the penalties include a fine, loss of driver’s license for up to three years, and time in prison.
Colonel Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol, stated that it is a severe criminal offense in the State of Florida to leave the accident scene. It’s a driver’s obligation to remain at the accident scene and render assistance to other bicyclists, motorists, pedestrians, or any other party hurt or sustained property damage. Colonel Spaulding reiterated that it is the right thing to do, and it is Florida law.
According to statistics produced within Florida, most hit-and-run collisions occur at night or in low-light conditions. A study of accident data from 2015 to 2020 discovered that around 85 percent of hit-and-run accidents occurred at dawn, dusk, or at night.
Hit-and-run accidents are extremely hazardous for pedestrians and cyclists. About 50% of all fatal accidents in Florida involved hit-and-run pedestrian accidents in 2020. This is why Florida is asking cyclists and pedestrians to make themselves visible to motorists by wearing light-colored clothes and wearing lights or reflectors.
It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education. Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway. Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries. To learn about our Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit montlick.com and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting iridesafe.com.
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