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Florida Notes

While being on vacation in Florida, I decided to post a couple of observations.

The first is an example of some efficiency. Florida is a popular place to spend the rest of your life after your retire. Now imagine a town with all residents over, say, 20. Such a town does not need schools, hence, would need noticeably less tax money.

The second is an example of inefficiency – the “Move Over” law. For those who is not familiar with it – this law requires to change a lane and reduce your speed by 20 mph when you see a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights. For example, if you drive in the right lane win an 65 mph zone and see a police car on the breakdown lane, you are supposed to slowdown to 45 mph and move to the second lane. The purpose is clear – avoid accidents when police officers on duty get killed by cars passing by. If you look at a bigger picture, the goal is to have the minimum traffic accidents while accommodating the maximum capacity. In general, it all comes down to the maximum capacity. So how does the “Move Over” law help to prevent fatalities on the roads? My observations say the effect is totally opposite. Changing lanes means merging. This is in addition to accident sightseeing. This creates even more hazardous conditions. In one case north of Miami a police officer stopped a car for speeding. This turned into 3 accidents with even more severe consequences. In the other case, while driving on I-95 northbound in the Melbourne area I spotted a police car on the breakdown lane. When I got there, there were 4 (four) police cars (one of which was hit from the side), 2 fire trucks and 1 one medical emergency car. I understand the law is designed to prevent fatalities, but does it actually prevent them? Have any studies been done?

As I was writing this post, I learned that this law was introduced in Massachusetts in 2008, but not yet enforced the way it is enforced in Florida.

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