Your safety matters to us, so here’s a refresher on 10 Florida laws intended to reduce road accidents and injuries (and a few that keep traffic rolling):
- Move over for tow trucks.
It’s just like you do for emergency vehicles by the roadside: When you see a tow truck with its lights on and assisting a vehicle, move over to give it ample safe space to work. If there’s no space to move over, then you’re required to slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit. (Florida Statute 316.126)
- Keep pace on the interstate.
If the speed limit is 70 mph, then you need to drive no slower than 50 (40 if the speed limit is 65 or lower). Why? If you’re driving too slowly, drivers behind you catch up MUCH sooner than they expect, greatly increasing the chance of a rear-end collision. (Florida Statute 316.183)
- Stop for oncoming school buses.
For the safety of all students, you’re required to stop when a school bus heading toward you stops. Exceptions: When there’s a barrier, a raised median, or an unpaved divider at least five feet wide. (Florida Statute 316.172)
- Right turn on a red arrow is right on.
Think of right-pointing red arrows as you would stop signs. Unless there’s a “No Turn On Red” sign, you can make a right turn after you’ve come to a full stop and the coast is clear. (Florida Statute 316.075)
- Wipers on, headlights on.
Rainy conditions reduce visibility. When your headlights are on, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can see you more easily. This law also applies to smoke and fog conditions. (Florida Statute 316.217)
- Intersections mean “slow down.”
You’re expected to drive at a “reasonably reduced” speed as you approach and cross intersections. Slowing down gives you time to assess and respond to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. (Florida Statute 316.183)
- Missed your highway exit? Don’t back up!
Continue to the next exit and double back. Backing up on an interstate highway (even on the shoulder) is extremely dangerous, so no surprise it’s prohibited. (Florida Statute 316.1985)
- Never drive with your hazard lights on.
Even when it’s raining or you’re going slowly, driving with your hazard lights on is illegal (Exceptions: emergencies and funeral processions). It’s a hazard to other drivers who might think you’re stopped in the road. (Florida Statute 316.2397)
- Make way for buses.
You’re required to stop when a public transit bus is signaling to move into traffic after a pickup or drop-off. (Florida Statute 316.0815)
- Clear your ears.
Car, truck, motorcycle, scooter or bicycle: Florida law prohibits the wearing of headphones while you operate a vehicle. Exceptions: “Walkie-talkie” motorcycle helmet headsets that leave ears uncovered, and single-ear devices used with cell phones. (Florida Statute 316.304)