Q&A of the Day – Do You Know Florida’s Traffic Laws?
Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.
iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.
Today’s Entry: You could solve a large number of accidents by a simple solution enforced in other states. The left lane is NOT a travel lane. Enforce this police! It makes the crazy drivers weave in and out of traffic causing chaos and accidents. It’s insanity to do the same thing over and over again. Accidents are not caused by speeders only rather by them speeding in and around the left lane losers!
Bottom Line: Friday’s Q&A, about Florida’s deadliest roads and the role speed and traffic plays, brought about a steady stream of passionate notes like this one. With several people bringing up some really good points like this one. In South Florida we know that most people who live here aren’t originally from here. And perhaps one of the reasons we have so many issues with traffic and serious accidents is because many people don’t really know all of Florida’s traffic laws. So, let’s start there. To the root of the point made in today’s entry... Do you really know what Florida’s law states about use of left lanes?
Florida law states:
- Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
(a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;
(b) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;
(c) Upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or
(d) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.
So yeah, left lane cruising is technically a no go under Florida law. But of course, it happens just about all day every day on Florida’s roads. And under Florida law a standard moving violation is the citation which can be issued by law enforcement. So, the listener in today’s note raises a good point. If more drivers followed the law, there’s a good chance a lot less aggressive driving in and around the left lanes would occur. There’s a big ‘ole but to this which also factors into the subjectively in attempting to enforcement.
There’s nothing in Florida’s law that says it’s cool to speed. And this is the next most important nuanced point in this conversation. The question isn’t about whether there’s someone behind you in left lanes that wants to go faster than you necessitating a move by you to get over at any speed. Florida’s law mandates that you must be passing to use those lanes. By the letter of the law, provided you’re going faster than the traffic to the right of you – you have a right to remain in that lane until you’ve cleared that traffic and can safely get over. Commonly what happens is that aggressive drivers, driving well above the speed limit, pull up on vehicles in left lanes that are moving faster than the traffic to their right but not at the speed they’d like to go, leading to the weaving in and out referenced in today’s note. It’s illegal regardless of whether the vehicle in front of them was following the law or not. There’s nothing in Florida’s traffic laws in which two wrongs equal a right. So yes, it’s true that commonly vehicles are cruising in left lanes when they shouldn’t be, but yes, it’s also true that the high-speed weavers tend to be driving well above the speed limit as well. And this takes me to the next related point. We have stats on this stuff due to technology which monitors the speeds at which people travel.
How often do you think people are properly using the left lanes? The data says...
- Correctly: 60%
- Incorrectly: 30%
- Indeterminant (generally due to traffic): 10%
So, in reality, is the scenario laid out in today’s note legit? Yep, no doubt...but only 30% of the time. What we know is that by a margin of two-to-one the weavers are the ones who are in the wrong. Meaning that if you wanted a point of emphasis to combat unlawful activity on Florida’s roads. Targeting aggressive lane weavers would be the most effective way to do it.