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Driving Too Slowly Could Cost You

When you think of traffic tickets, speeding most likely comes to mind. Starting July 1, 2013, driving too slowly could also result in a fine. A new Florida law recently signed by Governor Rick Scott states that motorists must move over if they are driving too slowly in the “fast” lane.

The new law will target drivers going 10 miles per hour or slower than the designated speed limit while traveling in the left lane, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Most people naturally move over to allow faster motorists to pass, but some drivers refuse to move over to the middle or right lane. Driving too slowly can result in traffic slowdowns and car accidents. In fact, drivers who remain in the left lane under the speed limit will be charged with “aggressive careless driving,” according to the new law. The fine for Florida drivers who “reasonably know” they are driving too slowly will be $60.

Multi-lane highways were designed to accommodate high traffic volumes while giving drivers options for going various speeds. We all know that faster drivers should travel in the left lane while slower drivers should travel in the right lane. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by the rules of the road. Jacksonville has its fair share of slow drivers who cause frustration for other motorists. Some are simply unaware they holding up traffic, while others may be distracted by a cell phone or trying to read a map.

When encountering a slow driver, one of the most common reactions leading to car accidents in Jacksonville and throughout the country is tailgating. Frustrated drivers behind a slow driver in the left lane tend to tailgate in an effort to nudge the driver over to a slower lane. Usually, the more time that goes by, the closer the tailgater gets. Tailgating is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Jacksonville, not to mention the fact that it is illegal and can also lead to a traffic ticket and points added to your driving record. The standard rule is to allow one car length between you and the driver in front of you for every 10 miles per hour. If you are driving 70 miles an hour, allow seven car lengths between you and the car in front of you to give you enough lead time to stop safely. If you find yourself behind a slow driver who will not move over, try flashing your lights first or gently beeping the horn.

The new law is part of a larger bill nicknamed the “Road Rage Bill,” which was recently passed by the Florida House and Senate. Also included in the 226-page bill are measures to align Florida’s commercial trucking laws with federal rules. While speeders will remain high on law enforcement’s radar, Florida State Troopers and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will begin to focus on slower drivers and ticket violators. The new law goes effect on any Florida road with two or more lanes starting July 1.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident in Jacksonville, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation. We are happy to meet with you either at our downtown Jacksonville office or at a location convenient to you.

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