I’m New to Florida. What Driving Laws Should I Know About?
People flock to Florida year after year for a variety of reasons. Some visit for our theme parks and beaches, others arrive for the year-round tropical weather, and some like the fact that Florida doesn’t have an income tax. Whatever the reason people visit or move to Florida, there are strict road rules and regulations that all drivers need to abide by. Law enforcement won’t accept ignorance as an excuse, so it’s wise to come prepared and aware of Florida’s unique set of driving regulations. To better understand what it’s like driving in Florida, the following touches on the main points to keep in mind:
YOU MUST HAVE A U.S. DRIVER’S LICENSE OR PERMIT TO DRIVE IN FLORIDA
Until 2013, international visitors could drive in Florida with a driver’s license from their home country. The law was changed, and now foreign tourists must have an international driver’s license before driving on Florida roads. Tourists can attain this in their home country before traveling to the U.S. A tourist from England, for example, can get an international driver’s license at any American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance office.
For those visiting Florida from different states, it’s perfectly acceptable to drive with their state-issued driver’s license. For new drivers with a learner’s permit less than three months old, they’re authorized to drive only during the daytime hours, and they must be with a licensed driver who’s at least 21 years old in the passenger’s seat.
ESSENTIAL GUIDELINES FOR DRIVERS IN FLORIDA TO FOLLOW
Travelers visiting from the U.K. will need to keep in mind that cars operate on the right side of the road. This law is uniform across all 50 states, and there are a few laws that vary from state to state that other visitors will need to remember. For example, it’s now illegal in Florida to text and drive. Texting and driving is a primary offense, and law enforcement can pull you over for it. Florida has not implemented a talking ban while driving, but it’s wise to consider a hands-free device when talking on your cell phone. Other Florida driving laws to remember include the following:
It’s legal to turn right on red after stopping to yield, except when there’s a “no right on red” sign
You must always drive with your headlights on from dusk till dawn, and when it rains
Drivers must move over one lane for stopped law enforcement, emergency responders, sanitation, tow trucks, and utility service vehicles.
Florida’s Move Over Law went into effect in 2002. If it’s unsafe to shift into the next lane, drivers must reduce their speed by 20 mph. Failing to do so can end in fines and points on your driving record.
BE PREPARED TO PAY ON FLORIDA’S TOLL ROADS
There are many toll roads throughout the state of Florida, including the Bee Line Expressway, the Florida Turnpike, and Alligator Alley. Cash tolls run anywhere from $.50 to $6.00 per toll, but can be discounted for drivers with a Sunpass or E-Pass transponder in their vehicle. These transponders can be bought online or at most retailers.
Some toll roads charge by the number of axles on your vehicle and the number of miles you’ve driven. Driving the entirety of the Florida Turnpike from Miami Gardens to Ocala, for example, costs $17.45 with a Sunpass or $22.59 with cash. For drivers who fail to stop and pay at cash tolls, they’ll receive a toll bill in the mail after the camera takes a picture of their license plate.
TRUSTED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Understanding Florida’s driving laws before visiting or moving to the Sunshine State will ensure a safe and exciting stay. Drivers are responsible for being knowledgeable of the rules that keep our roads safe. Some things, however, can’t be controlled. If you find yourself hurt or in an accident while visiting South Florida, the professional car accident attorneys at McCullough & Leboff P.A. can help.
With more than 48 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have handled all types of car accident cases and have a thorough understanding of the laws that govern Florida’s highways. Each lawyer at McCullough & Leboff P.A. is a member of the American Bar Association and Florida Justice Association.
Get the help you need by contacting their office or completing an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.