Ask Trooper Steve: How I can change the law for rear-end crashes?

Trooper Steve answers questions about Florida traffic laws

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

One viewer asked, “I want to know how I can change the law for rear-end crashes. (The) state of Florida is still the only one that holds the last person responsible.”

Montiero points out that law enforcement does not create the state’s traffic laws. Florida’s elected state lawmakers do, and they would have to change them.

“Anything from minor offenses to major felonies, our body of elected officials represent us, and in return, if we have anything we’d like to suggest we should contact them,” said Montiero.

[RELATED: Here’s how to contact your state lawmakers]

Trooper Steve also says that while blaming the most rear driver in a series of crashes in Florida is not a mandatory outcome, the situation that surrounds most rear-end collisions are caused by the most rear driver.

“A driver has an obligation to keep a safe distance between them and any object that is in front of them as to avoid any collision, and obviously not strike that vehicle,” Montiero said. “This is a practice that should be followed, whether on a residential street or out on a major highway.

“When a driver fails to drive carefully and strikes a vehicle in front of them, they are often cited with careless driving,” he continued. “The notes on that charge would be the driver failed to stop for a stopped object in front of them.

“The same would apply in a series of crashes,” Montiero added. “If there were three or more vehicles and a vehicle impacted another vehicle, subsequently, pushing them into other vehicles, that rear driver would be placed at fault for this crash.”

Montiero said that there may be a lot of factors at play in a crash, but the law cannot see driver distraction or lack of due care as a factor.

“Driving is dangerous and we should treat it as such,” Montiero said.

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About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.