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Cracking Down on Suspended Licenses

There are nearly two million Florida motorists with either revoked or suspended licenses and about half of them continue to drive.

Now, some Florida lawmakers want to crack down on these violators, by simply taking away their vehicles.

Tina Lambert is still haunted by the phone call that is every parent’s nightmare. Her 23-year-old son Ryan, a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy, was killed nearly a year ago by a driver with a suspended license who crashed into him during a traffic stop. "I will still miss him every minute of every day for the rest of my life.” she says. “That will never change."

Like many suspended drivers, the man who killed Tina’s son was a multiple violator with a history of speeding.

She and the parents of two other young men killed by motorists with invalid licenses are throwing their support behind a bill they hope will make Florida roads safer.

The bill would let police boot or impound the vehicles on the spot of anyone they catch driving while suspended or revoked.

Supporters of the bill say the problem is nearly an epidemic. Highway Safety officials say one out of every 17 drivers’ on Florida roads is driving on a suspended license.

Representative Ari Porth is sponsoring the bill for the second year in a row.

Concerns including cost sunk the bill last year, but he’s hoping his colleagues will focus more on the irresponsible motorists this time, which he says, "They’re some of the most dangerous drivers. Drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked and they’re hurting people. They’re driving while they’re not insured and it’s gotta’ stop. Too many people are dying as a result."

Recent numbers show more than 50 people a year in Florida are killed in crashes caused by drivers with suspended licenses.

Police say about 200,000 tickets are issued in Florida each year to people who are driving on suspended or revoked licenses.


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