speeding ticket

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Drivers, beware. For the rest of the week, Florida, Georgia, and three other Southern states will be pulling over motorists for speeding as part of the second annual “Operation Southern Shield.”

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It’s been a tough week for the Florida Highway Patrol. Talk of speeding ticket quotas led to the resignation of a Troop Commander. But, the law enforcement agency is now trying to put that behind them, and move forward.

Governor Rick Scott recently gave the nod to several priorities of the state’s first responder unions. Now, those unions are speaking out on what they’d like Florida lawmakers to include in the still-to-be-considered state budget.

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Traffic ticket quotas will soon be officially illegal under a bill recently signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. A union representing the state’s police officers says the bill is long overdue.

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Florida lawmakers passed a series of bills affecting law enforcement agencies this week, and at least two are headed to the Governor’s desk for approval.

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A bill blocking all law enforcement agencies—including local—from establishing traffic ticket quotas could be close to hitting the Governor’s desk, if it soon passes the House.

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A bill making it illegal for local law enforcement agencies to require officers to issue certain number of tickets may have some changes in store, after it passed another Senate panel Wednesday.

Sen. Rob Bradley’s (R-Fleming Island) bill wants to prevent what occurred at the small North Florida town he represents called Waldo. It’s seen as one of the nation’s worst speed traps and eventually had to disband its police force over the issue.

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A panel of lawmakers have unanimously passed a bill prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from establishing traffic ticket quotas.

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) says his bill stems from the small north Florida town of Waldo known as one of the nation’s worst speed traps. That area’s police force later disbanded.

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Traffic on Florida roadways could soon begin moving faster if a bill filed in the Florida Senate becomes law. But experts say more speed equals more accidents.

The bill, filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), would swap current 70-mile per hour speed limits on Florida interstates for 75 mile per hour thresholds. But Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader says even though such bills might find political support, that doesn’t mean they’re smart.

Slow drivers, beware. A new Florida law bans driving more than 10 miles per hour under the speed limit in the left lane when you know another car is trying to pass.

It’s already a law that drivers in the left lane who are not going a reasonable speed must move over and let faster drivers pass them. The new law defines exactly what that reasonable speed is: within 10 miles per hour of the posted limit. Violators can face a $60 ticket.

Capt. Nancy Rasmussen, with the Florida Highway Patrol said, now it’ll be easier for police to enforce the rule.

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This week, a state trooper fired from the Florida Highway Patrol had a chance to defend himself at a hearing. The officer’s defense strategy is raising the question of whether lawmakers get free passes when they’re caught breaking the law.

Current and former troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol testified at the hearing, it’s common, unwritten policy to go easy on state lawmakers.

“This goes back to the academy. We were taught in the academy that if you stop a legislator, it would behoove you not to write a ticket,” retired Sgt. Gary Dawson said.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

It’s a long-standing unwritten policy among the Florida Highway Patrol not to ticket lawmakers when officers catch them speeding. That’s according to testimony from state troopers during an officer’s wrongful termination hearing on Wednesday.

Six-year veteran Highway Patrolman Charles Swindle was fired in March for writing tickets for offenses people didn’t commit. The charges came after a letter of complaint from a state lawmaker he’d pulled over for speeding on Interstate 10 in November.