In 2011, food trucks were a major issue in many Florida cities. Some Florida cities including Miami, argued that food trucks were a danger, because they could cause Miami car accidents due to increased traffic congestion, or could cause other types of Miami traffic accidents because food trucks attract both pedestrian and car traffic to small areas. Those who opposed food trucks argued that they posed unfair competition for restaurants and also were unregulated, making them potentially dangerous.
However, there was no denying that food trucks were immensely popular in Florida in 2011, and they had their fair share of supporters. Many argued that even in Miami, where food truck rules were tightened over the summer, food trucks had not been found to cause any Miami truck accidents or traffic accidents. Many also argued that the food trucks provided a safe and affordable option for diners.
Diners certainly flocked to food trucks in 2012. Many cited the low costs and good quality of the food as the reason. With lower overhead, food trucks were often able to provide lower prices than traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses. They are also able to travel to events and other locations where diners are, often making them a more convenient option for hungry patrons.
In 2012, Florida communities will likely see the debate about food trucks continue and may also see new legislation for the food truck industry. For example, St. Petersburg, Florida is considering a few options. The community is considering allowing food trucks in vacant lots. This, according to advocates, would help revitalize vacant areas in and near downtown while providing a service that the public wants. St. Petersburg is also considering allowing food trucks only near Beach Drive and near the Pier, where demand is greatest. Another option being considered is to allow food trucks only in cooperation with private businesses (such as existing bricks-and-mortar restaurants). This option would ensure that food trucks could co-exist with local restaurants rather than competing with them.
St. Petersburg does not currently permit food trucks, although that is expected to change by the end of 2012. Many other Florida communities, however, do permit food trucks. For example, Orlando allows food trucks to work collaboratively with local businesses as long as the trucks stay ten feet or more from the road. Tampa permits food trucks in private lots and at special events only. St. Petersburg’s efforts to bring a food truck scene into the community may eventually affect other communities who wish to allow food trucks on their streets.
While so far there have not been injuries reported involving food trucks, these are commercial trucks and in the event of an accident, they will be protected by larger insurance carriers. As well, gathering evidence in these cases and determining liability could be challenging since the truck may be owned by more than one entity and may be located on a city street or a private lot owned by a third party. Since food trucks can simply drive away, locating drivers and evidence can also be challenging. In any such accident, victims would need to work closely with a qualified personal injury attorney.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you can contact the Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange for a free, no-obligation to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. With three offices in Florida, the Flaxman Law Group is poised to serve personal injury victims across South Florida.