Whether you are a visitor to the state of Florida, a seasonal resident or a permanent native, knowing the rule of the road can save you a lot of stress – and money – in the long run. Some traffic officers may be kind enough to let you off with a warning, but why take the chance of having to pay a stiff fine for something you could have prevented from the start.
First, pay close attention to the speed limits as they can change quicker than you think. As a rule, the fastest you can go on regular in-town street in Florida is 30 mph. Check around for school zones as it drops to 20 mph and is heavily enforced. Construction zones also have lower speeds and signs will notify you that failure to adhere to these limits while men are working on the streets will result in twice the amount of regular fines.
On limited access highways you may drive up to 75 mph, and most people do. All other Florida highways have speed limits of 55 to 60 mph. You can utilize a radar detector in your vehicle but they are not permitted in commercial trucks that are 10,000 pounds or more.
In Florida, bicyclists are required to wear a helmet if they are under the age of 16 and must abide by the rules and regulations in place for regular vehicles. Front headlights and rear reflectors are required for nighttime biking.
There are currently no cell phone regulations but laws change quickly so make sure you check if you are a visitor to Florida. Most recently, a seat belt law was put into place where a law enforcement officer does not need any other reason to pull you over. Click it or ticket is the policy and it doesn’t matter if you are the driver or a passenger, everyone needs to buckle up.
Another area where Florida law does not take lightly is child safety seats. It is mandatory for all children under the age of five to be secured in the vehicle while it is in motion. You can use an integrated car seat or a safety belt for kids three years old and older. Babies are usually positioned in car seats facing backwards and small children must be in booster seats until they are at least 40 pounds or at least 4’9” tall.
If you are planning on a family vacation to the sunshine state, make sure you keep an eye on the speed limits, have the children in the appropriate seat restraints, and make everyone wear their seat belt, no matter how much they don’t want to. You can be stopped for that very reason alone.