Safe Tourist Tips: Driving in the Sunshine State of Florida
Florida is a state that dances to the beat of a different drummer. If you live here, you know. Here are just some of the driving regulations and a few tips for navigating the roads – dealing with the always-changing weather conditions and the tsunami of tourists.
Drive On The Right
This one takes some getting used to if you’re from England or a country which drives on the left side of the road. But, even for out-of-towners driving in Florida, the state is a little more strict about driving in the right-most lane of traffic.
Passing is done on the left, and you are not allowed to “cruise” in the left lane. You will still see many people doing it, but you will also see these same people being pulled over by police when there happens to be an officer on duty.
In major cities, this can be especially problematic, and these car accident attorneys in Orlando see their fair share of accidents caused by lazy or inattentive drivers.
Bottom-line: stay in the right-most lane. And, if you’re an out-of-towner, drive the speed limit and don’t be in a rush to get anywhere. Let people pass you.
Rules For Passing Cops
When a police officer is pulled off to the side of the road, either assisting someone else, or issuing a fine, you must reduce your speed by at least 20MPH under the posted speed limit or you must move into the passing lane to give the officer clearance.
Wearing Your Seatbelt
You must wear your seatbelt in Florida. There is a fine for not doing so, and you could end up with a fine for $30 plus other legal fees and additional regulatory fees.
If You’re A Visitor
If you’re a visitor to the state, pay close attention to the speed limits as they are strictly enforced. Rural interstate limits for cars and other passenger vehicles are 70MPH. Trucks are 70MPH on urban Interstates while cars may only travel 65MPH.
2-lane highways are restricted to 60MPH for most vehicles. For 4-lane highways, the speed limit is increased to either 65MPH or 70MPH. County roads are 55 to 60MPH and the minimum speed limit on Interstate highways is 50 MPH in a 70MPH zone. This means that you cannot travel slower than 50MPH.
Turning Right On Red
Florida is a state that allows “right on red.” This means that you can turn right at an intersection with a red light. All you have to do is stop at the red light first. Confirm there is no traffic coming from the opposite direction, and then make your turn. The only exception to this rule is when there is a sign specifically prohibiting this action. If you do happen to see a sign prohibiting the right on red rule, then you can’t make the turn.
Some signs may stipulate a “no right on red” during certain times of the day or days of the week. If there is no sign posting, assume you can turn right on red.
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Barbara Bently has spent years working in public safety and likes to share her thoughts and insights online. She has written for a number of safety and health related blogs.