A man convicted of causing a fatal auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is expected to receive a harsh sentence in an upcoming hearing in his case. He caused an Orange County accident in 2009 that killed a two-year-old girl whose family was on their way to Walt Disney World when the man, who was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine, collided with their car. Prosecutors recently asked the judge hearing the case to sentence the man to the maximum 26 years in prison for causing the accident, but the defendant’s legal team requested a presentence investigation to postpone the judge’s decision.
Despite well-documented studies that illustrate how red light cameras reduce accidents, injuries and deaths caused by drivers who disobey traffic signals, a great deal of misinformation persists about these safety devices. That is why James O. Cunningham and other Orlando car accident attorneys are happy that a local television station has taken steps to debunk some of this misinformation. Orlando station WFTV recently investigated two of the more common myths about red light cameras and their effectiveness and aired their results during newscasts.
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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles compiles auto accident data from across the state and charts trends from these data on an ongoing basis. The most recent accident data on the DHSMV site is from 2009 and shows a drop in the crash rate for Orange County. Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham and other Central Florida auto accident lawyers welcomed the news but caution that the accident rate in Orange County is still dangerously high. From a statistical standpoint, Orange County is the fourth-most dangerous county in the state for auto accidents, behind Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough Counties.
Florida Highway Patrol officers are requesting that those who may have seen a recent fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident come forward with any information they may have. Accident investigators say that the accident occurred near the intersection of Semoran and Old Cheney Highway in east Orange County. They say an adult male pedestrian was crossing Semoran east-to-west when he was struck and killed by a black Jeep Wrangler. They say that after the jeep struck the man, the driver immediately fled the scene to avoid taking responsibility.
Orange County officials are planning to install as many as 80 additional red light cameras at dangerous intersections throughout the county over the next two years, but they are holding off on installing them until Florida legislators make a decision about them slated for next spring. Currently, there are ten red light cameras in place in Orange County, which were installed after lawmakers approved the cameras and the $158 fines for running red lights. The use of the cameras was approved in recent years, but a bill in the Florida House last spring proposed eliminating these cameras. The bill did not pass, but opposition to the life-saving cameras remains strong, and Orange County officials want to make sure red light cameras laws will remain legal before investing in their installation.
Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for young people aged 16 to 20, but some forward-thinking people in Orange County are trying to change this fact. The Florida Safety Council announced recently that high school students in Orange County would be able to apply for free driver training. This free training will include six hours of behind-the-wheel driving lessons in traffic and driver education classroom courses.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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