Driving in Florida is a privilege, and with it comes a certain responsibility. As a driver, you must know the laws and regulations that keep you and other motorists safe on the road. Although driver’s education is required to get a license, even experienced drivers may forget some essential Florida laws. This blog will cover five laws that every driver should know to ensure compliance with the law and safety on the road.
The Speed Limit is 55 Mph Unless Otherwise Posted
The speed limit on most streets and highways in Florida is 55 mph unless otherwise posted. In residential areas and school zones, the speed limit drops to 30 mph and 20 mph, respectively, and limited access highways may go up to 70 mph. It’s essential to pay attention to posted signs so that you do not exceed the maximum speed allowed in any given area.
Remember, speeding can lead to serious consequences, including hefty fines, points on your license, and even jail time if your speed is excessive enough—not to mention increasing your risk of a severe crash.
Passengers Under 18 Must Buckle Up
In accordance with state law, all children under age 5 must be restrained in an approved child safety seat while riding in a vehicle, and anyone under the age of 18 must wear a proper safety restraint (as well as drivers and those in the front seat). Violating this law could result in a citation and fines up to $60 per child offense ($30 for adults), along with points added to your driving record for each violation.
Aside from the legal implications, safety restraints like seat belts and child seats have proven to reduce the severity of injuries in a crash, so it is in your best interest to follow the law.
Road Rage Can Be Considered Unlawful
Road rage is an umbrella term used to describe aggressive driving behaviors such as excessive speeding, unsafely changing lanes, failing to yield right of way, etc. Although these are common behaviors, they are actually considered unlawful.
In Florida, road rage behaviors may be punishable by fines of up to $500 and/or jail time of up to 90 days if convicted. So when driving in Florida it’s important to remain calm no matter how frustrating another driver may be—and focus instead on safe driving practices such as maintaining proper lane positions and following traffic signals accordingly.
Bicycles Are Legally Defined As Vehicles And Can Share The Road As Such
The Official Florida Driver License Handbook from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) states that a “bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and has all of the privileges, rights, and responsibilities on public roads…that a motor vehicle operator does.” This means cyclists have just as much right to occupy their lane as cars do, so motorists need to respect this right and always give cyclists plenty of room (3 feet minimum) when passing from behind or alongside at intersections. Additionally, in some spaces, cyclists have priority over motorists due to right-of-way laws in certain municipalities, so it’s important to be aware of how your local government defines these.
All Drivers Must Stop For School Buses On A Two-Way Street
All drivers must stop for school buses loading or unloading students regardless of what direction they are traveling relative to the bus itself; however, this rule only applies when both lanes are going one way (i.e., two-way streets). On multi-lane highways where two or more lanes are traveling in opposite directions (one lane going eastbound while another goes westbound) and separated by a median, only those drivers traveling behind a stopped bus must stop; those traveling toward it do not need to stop unless directed otherwise by flashing lights from within their own vehicle indicating that they should do so for safety reasons (such as dropping off children).
Protecting Your Rights on the Road
You have a right to protect yourself following a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else. At Canan Law, we help injured car accident victims pursue compensation to accommodate for their injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To discuss your legal options, call (904) 849-2266 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation.