Why a son was ticketed for accidentally running over his father during a driving lesson

Trooper Steve answers viewer’s question

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

The most recent question Trooper Steve addressed was about why a man who accidentally fatally struck his father during a driving lesson is now facing charges.

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A lot of people have asked how charges like this can happen when the individual was simply trying to learn how to drive.

The easiest way that I can explain this would be simply by explaining the law.

When a driver operates a motor vehicle without a driver’s license, the state of Florida recognize this as a criminal offense. If a driver is involved in a crash and does not possess a driver’s license then those charges would be enhanced under Florida law if they are involved in a crash resulting in death.

This driver would have avoided any enhanced charges if they would have been licensed under Florida law. This driver did not possess any type of license, not even a Florida learner’s permit.

Even with the driver being 34 years of age, he still would have been required to have a learner’s permit in order to operate the motor vehicle.

Unfortunately while this driver was operating the car he did not have a licensed driver 21 years of age or older sitting directly next to him. People may wonder ask would this still be required with him being 34 years old and the answer to that is yes.

Now although troopers did charge the driver where needed, it would be up to the state attorney to continue going forward. From what I understand about the case, it appears no malicious intent was present and both parties were family.

Although this does not take away from the fact that mistakes were made, it could stop criminal charges from continuing if the victim family chooses not to go forward.

What’s the lesson to take from this? If you are learning how to drive you are required to have a learner’s permit or higher issued to you by the state before you even consider driving a car.

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.