Rules Of The Road You Might Not Know
With many people traveling from other states to enjoy the Florida sunshine it is important to keep in mind some basic rules that apply when driving on Florida’s highways. Let’s keep these rules in mind so we can collectively keep everyone safer:
- No Texting and Driving: Florida is one of the last states to ban texting and driving, making it a primary offense. This means that a police officer can pull over drivers who are texting and driving without having committed another offense. The first offense is a non-moving violation (no points) and a $30.00 fine. The second (and any subsequent) offense within 5 years is a moving violation which carries with it a $60.00 fine and 3 points assessed against your license. The fine may not be large, but the points can lead to a much larger increase in your insurance premiums. Of course, the most important this is the danger that texting and driving poses to yourself and others.
- Don’t drive slow in the left lane: It is not only aggravating to other drivers, but Florida is among 44 other states that make it illegal to drive too slow/obstruct traffic in the left lane. If you are “proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic” in the left lane or staying there when “the driver knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed” you may receive a moving violation punishable by a $179 fine and 3 points on your license. It’s simple: Keep right, except to pass.
- Don’t drive solo in the H.O.V. lane: If you are not driving a hybrid motor vehicle that has the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHMSV) emblem, you must have at least two people in your vehicle to drive in the carpool lane, (motorcycles are exempt). These lanes are only active during peak traffic hours which are 7-9 AM, and 4-6 PM, Monday through Friday, holidays included. However, there is no need to remember these hours as they are posted on the signs next to or above the carpool lanes. A violation may bring with it a fine ranging from $60.00 to $165.000, depending on the county.
- Move over for emergency vehicles: In the state of Florida, drivers are required to respond differently upon encountering a roadside law enforcement or emergency vehicle with lights flashing depending on whether they are driving on a two-lane or multi-lane road. On a multi-lane road, the driver is legally required to move to one lane away from the roadside law enforcement or emergency vehicle. This allows for maximum safety during the event of a traffic stop or emergency. On a two-lane road, drivers are required to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit, or 5 miles per hour in the event that the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour.
- Pay your tolls: Any driver that uses a toll road in Florida is expected to pay the toll for that roadway. If you fail to do so it will catch up to you since cameras take a picture of your license plate when you drive through a toll plaza. The toll plazas do not accept credit or debit cards. If you realize you do not have sufficient funds do not stop or back up, as it is unsafe. You can expect to receive an invoice in the mail
At Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith our goal is to help keep our roadways safe. Violating these laws may not only cost you money but can make it much more dangerous for yourself and other drivers. Let’s follow these simple rules and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions about these or any other rules governing our roadways.
The Blog is written by Firm Partner Glenn Siegel.