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Bradfordville Bugle

Stay up to date on Florida driving laws

Aug 10, 2022 01:56PM ● By Cristi Mc Kee

It’s not uncommon to hear people around town talking about the hectic drive they experienced throughout Tallahassee.

As busy people who drive every day, we often think of ourselves as top-notch drivers who follow all the rules of the road.

Some drivers, however, do not.

Take a look at these most commonly forgotten (or disregarded) road rules in Florida for a refresher on what laws apply to you when driving.

Turn signals aren’t optional: Contrary to popular belief, turn signals are to be used whenever a driver makes a turn or changes a lane - not just when you’re feeling particularly considerate.

Florida Statutes 316.155 says to allow 100 feet of active signaling before making turns/changing lanes, and only should be done when “such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”

Stop signs must be obeyed:

When you come upon a stop sign, it is in your best interest to come to a complete stop before continuing your drive.

In Florida Statutes 316.123, it is said that “every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line.”

Yes - even if there is nobody watching.

U-turns are sometimes illegal:

You missed your turn and are already late to your meeting, but a convenient spot up ahead appears to be the perfect place to make a u-turn.

But, wait, there is a “no u-turn” sign impeding your progress!

Should you go for it anyway? According to Florida Statutes 316.1515, u-turns are only legal when “such movement is not prohibited by posted traffic control signs” and when “such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.”

Only some left turns on red are legal:

Not following road rules regarding traffic lights often result in dangerous, sometimes even fatal, car accidents.

Because of this, it’s important to know that most times, turning left when the traffic light is red is illegal.

The State of Florida notes, “some intersections display a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which you must obey. Left turns on red from a one-way street into a one-way street are also allowed.”

You can’t blast your music anymore:

As of July 1, 2022, Florida law says that police officers can issue tickets to drivers whose music can be heard from 25 feet away from their vehicle.

Per Florida Statute 316.3045 music or other sounds emitting from a vehicle that are “plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle” can be a ticked offense.

Only some right turns on red are legal:

Similarly, not every intersection allows right turns when the traffic light is red.

The State of Florida says, “A red RIGHT arrow means that you must come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection.

After stopping, you may turn RIGHT on the red arrow at most intersections if the way is clear.

Some intersections display a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which you must obey.

You can’t pull out in front of other cars:

This action is seen all over town, but did you know it’s illegal?

The State of Florida recalls right-of-way and yielding laws: “An open intersection is one without traffic control signs or signals.

When you enter one, you must yield the right-of-way if:

A vehicle is already in the intersection.

You enter or cross a state highway from a secondary road.

You enter a paved road from an unpaved road.

You plan to make a left turn and a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction.

When two cars enter an open intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.”

You can’t text while driving:

Despite how fascinating the conversation may be, as of July 1, 2019, you can’t text while behind the wheel.

Per Florida Statutes 316.305, “A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”

If you do text while drive, you may be in for a ticket.