No matter how careful a driver is, chances are they will get a traffic ticket at some point in their lifetime.
Some people see a ticket as a nuisance, but they can be criminal offenses. It’s scary to know that a minor violation can result in a criminal record. At the minimum, it can put points on a driver’s record or lead to a license suspension.
The thing is, traffic laws are confusing. A driver can get different types of tickets for a number of reasons. This is why it’s extremely important to know what the driving laws in Florida in order to stay out of trouble.
This article will help by setting out the different types of traffic offenses that can get someone ticketed.
Driving After A Few Beers
Popular driver violations include what can be called “buzzed driving”. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles advises that this is legally the same as drunk driving.
People sometimes forget to be cautious about drinking and driving. It’s almost impossible for someone to tell if their blood alcohol is above the legal limit, even if they feel fine.
Especially on holidays, or around big sports events, this is a common occurrence. Instead of driving after a few beers, a designated driver is always a safer bet. A DUI could cause someone to lose their license completely.
Driving Without A Driver’s License
Driving without a valid driver’s license in Florida is a frequent traffic offense.
Many times, there’s no bad intention behind the driver’s actions. They may not even realize that their license isn’t valid.
Common scenarios are driving with a temporarily suspended license, or not having a license when stopped by a policeman. Or there is the chance that the driver was never issued with a driver’s license in the first place.
For this offense often the driver will have to appear in court, so it’s a serious violation. If they don’t appear, a bench warrant for their arrest may be issued.
Passing Someone In A No-pass Zone
On the long list of traffic violations in Florida is an action that the typical driver does a lot without thinking.
This is passing a vehicle in a no-passing zone. Everyone knows it can be frustrating to get stuck behind a slow driver. However, it’s not always the best idea to drive around the vehicle.
In fact, doing this in specific areas or no-passing zones can get a driver a traffic ticket. If the line on the road is solid, that’s an indication that it’s not safe to overtake a car. Dotted lines indicate that it’s allowed.
To protect children, there’s a whole category of the law dealing with school buses. There’s an automatic fine levied for passing a school bus.
This differs according to the side of the bus the driver passes. The right-hand side of a bus is usually the side where children exit. Passing a Florida school bus on this side means a minimum fine of $265.
Since just about every driver has a cell phone, it’s probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that distracted driving is common. Traffic tickets for this phenomenon include violations of cell phone laws or driving and texting.
They also include any action that could potentially distract someone from operating a vehicle. It’s not hard to fall afoul of this law since distractions can be a wide range of things. For example, putting on makeup, or checking on a pet.
Everyone knows what to do at a red stop sign or a red traffic light. Still, every day a ticket is written for not stopping long enough. The act of slowing down and not coming to a complete stop is also known as a “rolling stop”.
A ticket may not be given on the spot. Sometimes a traffic camera will catch a driver in an intersection when he/she does not heed a stop sign.
Running A Red Light
Like rolling stops, running a red light makes a frequent appearance on the list of driving infractions in Florida. Failure to stop at a stop sign can also be included in this type of offense.
It’s a dangerous action to take and can cause a serious accident, so the penalties reflect that. Florida has a statute that states even a yellow light is an indication that it’s not safe for vehicles to enter an intersection.
Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
Another serious traffic offense is leaving the scene of an accident. This is almost always a bad idea, but especially so if someone was injured. Drivers have certain duties after an accident, so a hit-and-run can lead to severe penalties for them.
In general, anyone involved in an accident should stay at the scene. They should also wait for the police and get medical assistance for anyone who may need it.
Often this doesn’t happen, or a driver is not aware that someone has been hit. For example, a driver could have hit a parked vehicle, which damages property but doesn’t mean anyone is hurt.
Speeding is by far the most common cause of traffic tickets. This can be a tricky area for drivers since laws on the speed a vehicle may travel vary.
The speed limit can be one speed in a school zone, another on a state highway, and a different one on a residential street. If a driver is coming from one zone to another, they can easily break the speed law by not speeding up or slowing down.
What To Do To Fight Traffic Offenses In Florida
Hopefully, this article will have shed light on the different types of tickets it’s possible to get in Florida.
No matter the type of offense, it’s always recommended that a driver gets professional advice. Anyone who gets a ticket should contact a lawyer that’s experienced in dealing with Florida traffic offenses.