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A new law in Florida allows for drivers at an intersection or traffic signals to “flag down” police officers if they feel they have witnessed a dangerous situation, such as a vehicle speeding, according to The Associated Press. According to the Associated Press, the law is just one attempt by law enforcement to improve highway safety, and it may be the most direct attempt by the government to address the problem.
An estimated 10 million people pass through a Florida intersection every day, but if police officers witness an accident, the “flag down” law would be a great way to notify police, according to the AP. “It’s the best thing to do,” one motorist told the AP.
The law was proposed after a Florida Highway Patrol detective killed a teen crossing a road in a pickup truck last year. Trooper David Coker, 34, was at an intersection when he saw 17-year-old Justin Haney’s truck speeding down the left shoulder of the highway. According to a civil lawsuit filed by Justin’s parents, the highway patrol was conducting traffic safety exercises at the time of the fatal accident in which his passenger, who was not a licensed driver, was killed.
While driving on U.S. highways, the “flag down” law would not be an exact science. For example, “The officer can flag down a motorist who, for whatever reason,” the AP wrote, can feel in danger, “and ask him or her to call the police or give the officer information about another hazard in the area.”
“We are proud to support this bill as it will allow our officers to improve awareness about the dangers of speeding drivers at intersections,” the Florida Highway Patrol said in a response to the story.
“Florida police departments are extremely passionate about highway safety and this bill will add another tool for them to raise awareness of dangerous driving behavior,” John W. Murphy, president and deputy commissioner of the Florida Highway Patrol, wrote in a written statement.
“There’s something about being able to point to another car, a pedestrian or truck that gives you a sense of safety,” Mike Pate, vice president of the Florida Department of Transportation, told the AP following legislation’s announcement. “It gives us an edge when we’re actually out there. It’s the best way to make sure we catch these dangerous drivers before it’s
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