Florida Highway Patrol troopers made an arrest in the Florida driving case that went viral this week. News stations, morning news shows, and Facebook were all showing the video of a driver allegedly tailgating another vehicle. The driver of the vehicle in front of the pickup truck recorded the incident on their camera. The video was uploaded and went viral. The video can be viewed here:
In the video, the car in front is allegedly being tailgated by the truck. The truck is finally able to get around the car to his right and catches up to the car that was in front of him. The driver then makes an obscene gesture to the slow driver who was in the fast, passing lane. The truck driver then gets in front of the car only to hydroplane and wipe out on the other side of the road. The driver of the pickup truck allegedly left the scene of the accident. In Florida, if you are involved in accident involving property damage, you are required under Florida Statute 316.061 "Crashes involving damage to vehicle or property" to immediately stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident/crash or as close as possible, and shall fulfilled the requirements of Florida Statute 316.062.
Florida Statute 316.062 "Duty to give information and render aid" requires a driver to give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and shall upon request exhibit his or her license to drive, to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash. The driver must also give that information and exhibit his license any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash.
There is an issue in this case as it was a one car accident so there was no other driver to give the information to and no officer to inform. In addition, there is another statute that has a 10 day period for reporting accidents. If the alleged "aggressive" driver could be charged with this crime, then the driver who videotaped it could potentially be charged if found to be involved in the accident. This will not happen, but theoretically could be and may help give a defense to the arrested driver.
Florida did not pass the "move over law" that would require slow drivers in the passing lane to "move over" when a vehicle behind them is trying to pass. Had the driver in front moved over, maybe the accident would never have occurred. In addition, the driver in front never really knows who is behind them and not moving over can lead to dangerous "road rage" incidents.
The best policy is to drive safe and be courtesy to other drivers on the road to avoid any accidents or tragedies on our highways. Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage is a 2nd degree misdemeanor in Florida.
If you have been arrested for a "road rage" incident, Reckless Driving, or Leaving the Scene of an accident, call an experienced trial lawyer that knows how to defend these criminal cases.
Thomas C. Grajek 863-688-4606