Monthly Archives: September 2015

New Crosswalks | Pedestrian Safety | USF

New Crosswalks near USF will Help to Increase Pedestrian Safety

iStock_pedestrian cross walkOn Wednesday, September 16, leaders in USF’s Transportation Department teamed up with the Hillsborough County Department of Transportation, to increase pedestrian safety on 50th Street, across from USF’s main campus. The new crosswalks on 50th street use Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) technology to alert drivers to stop for pedestrians.

50th Street, between East Fletcher Avenue and East Fowler Avenue, is a high traffic area for both drivers and pedestrians, especially during the school day and in the evenings. Regular crosswalks, without flashing lights, on 50th Street went unnoticed to many drivers in the past. As a result, in November 2014, a pedestrian and USF student was involved in a near-fatal accident on 50th Street, when she was struck by a moving vehicle. The flashing crosswalks will hopefully prevent accidents involving pedestrians in the future.

The RRFB crosswalks will only be as effective as pedestrians allow them to be. Pedestrians must press a button to activate the flashing that alerts drivers to stop. If pedestrians do not utilize the flashing feature of the new cross walk, or if they cross in undesignated crossing areas, they are exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.

Tampa Police Officers monitored 50th Street on the morning the new crosswalks were activated, giving warnings and tickets to drivers who failed to stop at the blinking crosswalks. Volunteers will be visiting the area over the next month to help educate drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists about the benefits of the new crosswalks and how to use them safely and properly.

Your safety on the road is important to us. Should you or a loved one be involved or injured in a traffic incident, Blick Law Firm is here for you. Blick’s Personal Injury attorneys offer services for victims of automobile and motorcycle accidents. We can help to make sure you get the proper medical assistance, legal counsel, and representation following your involvement in an accident. If you are involved in an accident, visit our website to fill out a personal injury, automobile accident, or motorcycle accident claim, or call our office at 888-973-2776 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys!

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Florida state officials aim to strengthen texting while driving law

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.23.38 PMWritten by: Michaella Radich

Florida senator Maria Sachs, democrat of Delray Beach, and Florida representative Richard Stark, democrat of Weston, filed bills in September and August, respectively, suggesting that fines for texting while driving in school zones should be doubled. Sachs and Stark both filed bills earlier this year that aimed to change texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. These bills, however, died without making it to the floor in either the house or senate.

The current Florida state law on texting and driving says that a driver can only be ticketed for texting while driving if they were pulled over for violating another traffic law. In this case, the driver is fined $30 for their first offense and $60 for their second offense.

Florida is one of only eight states that have no laws specifically restricting texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. In 10 states and Washington D.C., using a cell phone, for any reason, is prohibited for drivers of all ages.

Texting behind the wheel makes a crash up to 23 times more likely. Of drivers ages 18-20 who were involved in auto accidents, 13% say they were talking on the phone or texting when the accident occurred. Of new drivers ages 16-17, 52% admit to talking on the phone while driving and 34% admit to texting while driving.

Young drivers are not the only ones distracted by their phone while behind the wheel. In fact, 27% of adults say that they have texted while driving and 48% of children 12-17 years old have been in the car while the driver was using his or her cell phone.

While the new bills proposed by Sachs and Stark would apply only to school zones, the bill’s passing would be a step in the right direction for Florida’s policy on cell phone use while driving. If you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, contact us at (888) 973-2776 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!


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Back to School | Safety Tips

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 10.41.42 AMThe start of the school year means more school buses, pedestrians, and bike riders, and a general increase in traffic, especially in the early morning and afternoon. We at Blick Law Firm want to provide you with some important safety tips to ensure that you and your child get to and from school as safely as possible.

 Bus Riding
Riding the school bus is the safest mode of transportation for schoolchildren. Unfortunately most accidents involving school buses occur because children entering, exiting, or waiting on the bus don’t take proper safety precautions. To keep your child safe this school year, remind them to:

  • Stay a safe distance of 10 giant steps away from the bus
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before approaching it
  • Take notice of the traffic around the bus
  • Wait to cross the street until the driver signals you
  • Use hand rails when getting on and off the bus
  • Keep head, hands, and arms inside the bus at all times

Walking and Biking
Walking and biking are great alternatives to riding the school bus. When proper safety Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 10.40.52 AMprecautions are taken, walking or riding a bike to school encourages students to stay physically active and get outside. To help determine the safest route for you or your child to walk or bike to school, visit, the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s website. We have also provided some general guidelines for staying safe when walking or riding a bike to school.

  • Look both ways for traffic at all driveways and intersections
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible
  • Walk facing oncoming traffic when no sidewalk is available
  • Ride bike in the bike lane or paved shoulder of the road whenever possible, if neither is available
  • Ride bike with the flow of traffic
  • Obey traffic signs and signals
  • Make eye contact with drives when crossing at crosswalks
  • Be mindful of anything on the road or sidewalk that could cause you to swerve or fall
  • Watch for turning traffic
  • Wear reflective gear
  • Do not use cellphone or wear earbuds

The beginning and end of the day can get very hectic in school parking lots. Most schools develop their own systems for parking, picking up, and dropping off. Strictly abide by the school’s procedures to ensure that your child and the other students are safe.

  • Don’t stop or park in crosswalks
  • Use extra caution in parking lots, school zones, and residential areas
  • Drop off and pick up children in the school’s designated area, rather than a less crowded, nearby location
  • Do not tailgate school buses
  • Stop for all stopped buses
  • Do not use cell phone while driving

As always, Blick Law Firm has your best interest and personal safety in mind. Should you or your child be injured this school year, we are to help. Contact us at (888) 973-2776 to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys today!

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