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Can we do something about Florida drivers who don’t use turn signals? | Editorial
Also in this week’s round up of highs and lows: stolen guns and a politician with a backbone.
A proposed law would make it easier for law enforcement to ticket drivers for being in the left lane and not allowing other cars to pass.
A proposed law would make it easier for law enforcement to ticket drivers for being in the left lane and not allowing other cars to pass. [ DREAMSTIME | Dreamstime ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Mar. 18

Traffic crackdown. A lawmaker from Fort Myers would like to make it easier for law enforcement to ticket drivers who clog up the passing lane on roads with a speed limit of at least 65 mph. As it stands, state law says motorists must move to the right if they know, or reasonably should know, a faster driver is trying to overtake them. The law is too vague and makes it hard to enforce, critics say. House Bill 421, filed by Republican Jenna Persons-Mulicka, would forbid motorists from hanging out in the left lane unless they’re passing another vehicle. We’re all for clearing up vague laws and making roads safer. While we’re at it, can we give a ticket to the driver in the SUV who thinks it’s OK to get five yards from our back bumper while going 70 mph? And can we crack down on people who never use their turn signals — blinkers, if you prefer? For the uninitiated, that’s the control lever on the left side of your steering wheel. Push it up for right turns, down for turning left.

Standing firm. State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, could have easily gone along with the House plan to lower the minimum age from 21 to 18 to buy rifles and other long guns in Florida. Few people would have thought twice about a Republican lawmaker trying to make it easier to buy guns. But she didn’t. She bucked the pressure and stuck to her belief that the age requirement passed after the horrific Parkland school shooting in 2018 was a reasonable provision. No matter what side of this gun debate you come down on, it’s heartening to see a politician stand up for what she thinks is right, despite the considerable political fallout from within her own party,

Making it easy. If you own a gun, don’t leave it in an unlocked car. It’s simple common sense that most gun owners support and abide. But too often guns get into the wrong hands after they are pinched from vehicles. In fact, a report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said more than 1 million firearms were reported stolen between 2017 and 2021. The latest example: A .380 handgun stolen from an unlocked car in 2018 was found in the pocket of Zion Bostick who police say shot a Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy with another gun on Sunday. The deputy survived. A second deputy shot and killed Bostick, who had been arrested 18 times on 34 felony and 22 misdemeanor charges, authorities said. No one should make it easy for someone like Bostick to get a gun. Securing weapons in a safe place must be the bare minimum of responsible gun ownership. Police work is hard enough. Let’s not make it even harder by giving criminals easy access to guns.

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Conan Gallaty. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.