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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: It is a primary offense to text and drive in Florida.  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 fine.  The second (and any subsequent) offense within 5 years is a moving violation which carries with it a $60 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 many 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 $158 fine and up to 3 points on your license. Slow left lane driving is such a big deal, the month of June is Lane Courtesy Month. 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 to $165 depending on the county.
 
  • Move over for ALL vehicles: Effective Jan. 1, 2024, drivers must move over one lane from anyone stopped on the side of the road in an emergency situation. Previously, the law applied only to law enforcement or emergency vehicles with lights flashing.  If you can’t safely move over, you are required to slow down to a speed 20 mph less than the posted speed limit or to 5 mph if the speed limit is 20 mph or less. Violations will carry a fine of up to $158 for a noncriminal traffic infraction.
 
  • 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.
 
Violating these laws may not only cost you money but can make it much more dangerous for yourself and other drivers.  

At Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, our goal is to help keep you and your loved ones safe while traveling on Florida roads. 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. Call us today at 561-655-2028.

The Blog is written by Firm Partner Glenn Siegel.

Palm Beach County: 561-655-2028
Martin County: 772-283-6839
Toll-Free: 1-877-LAW-LLLS

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