Many of the laws for driving are based on common sense, which means they are often the same from one state to the next. However, while you may be familiar with the laws in your own state, other states may have different rules that you need to follow when driving on the roads. If you are planning to visit or move to Florida, the following are some of the rules of the road that may differ from those in others states.
Permits and licenses
Learners Licenses are for drivers age 15-17, who must always have a licensed driver that is 21 years old in the closest seat to them while driving. Additionally, these drivers can only drive during daylight hours for the first three months. After 3 months, they can drive until 10 PM.
Licensed drivers that are 16 are not permitted to drive between 11 PM and 6 AM unless a 21-year-old licensed driver is with them or they are commuting to or from work.
Licensed drivers age 17 can’t drive between 1 AM and 5 AM without a licensed 21-year old. This does not apply when driving to and from work.
All drivers and passengers in the front seat are required to wear seat belts.
All passengers under 18 years of age must be in a seat belt.
Children under four years of age must be in a child safety seat.
Children four and five years old must be in either a booster seat or appropriate child safety seat.
Children age four or five can only be in a seat belt if the driver is not an immediate family member and the transportation is due to an emergency or favor.
All vehicles must have an intact windshield and functional windshield wipers.
White license plate lights are required on all vehicles.
Mufflers must ensure that engine sounds can’t be heard from a distance of 50 feet.
Headphones/headsets - It is illegal for drivers to wear headphones or headsets.
Texting - Drivers are not permitted to text while driving.
Slower vehicles - Drivers who are overtaken by a vehicle moving at a faster speed while in the left lane are required to move over by law. Additionally, it is against the law to impede the flow of traffic by driving too slowly. On highways with a speed limit of 70 MPH, the slowest permitted rate of speed is 50 MPH.
Front seat - Children under the age of 13 are required to ride in the back seat.
Unattended children - Children under six years of age can’t be left unattended in a running vehicle for any period of time, or for more than 15 minutes if the vehicle is not running. This only applies if the child’s health is not in danger.
Ramp signals - Florida uses ramp signals to control the flow of vehicles on expressways. Drivers can’t enter the expressway until the signal turns green.
Drawbridge signals - If a yellow signal is flashing at a drawbridge, drivers must prepare to stop. If the light is red, the drawbridge is in use and drivers must stop.
Red reflectors - Florida uses red reflectors to alert drivers when they are going the wrong way on a street. If the red reflectors are facing the driver, he or she is going the wrong way.
Parking - It is illegal to leave the keys in a vehicle when parking it.
Parking lights - It is against the law to drive with only the parking lights on rather than the headlights.
Right of way - All drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists must yield right of way if not doing so could result in accident or injury. Funeral processions always have the right of way.
Move over - Drivers are required to leave one lane between them and emergency or other vehicles displaying flashing lights. If it is not safe to move over, drivers must lower their speed to 20 MPH.
Headlights - Headlights are required when smoke, rain or fog is present. If the windshield wipers are needed for visibility, the headlights must be on as well.
Insurance - Drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability coverage. If a policy is cancelled without immediately instating another one, the license plates to the vehicle must be surrendered.
Littering - It is illegal to throw trash weighing less than 15 pounds onto the roadways.
Tobacco - Underage tobacco use will result in a suspension of driver’s license.
Following these rules of the road for Florida drivers will make sure you remain legal while driving throughout the state. If you would like more information, please check the Florida Driver License Manual.
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