Florida Left Lane Laws

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February 1, 2024

Auto Accidents

Florida left lane laws are supposed to control the flow of traffic on Florida roads. Left lane laws apply to trucks and passenger cars. However, some left-lane laws apply just to trucks and can be violated before a serious trucking accident.

Lawmakers are considering additions to Florida left lane laws. As of January 2024, bills are pending to clarify lane restrictions and strengthen requirements.

Improper lane use may be the cause of an accident. A victim may have the right to claim financial compensation. The Coral Gables car accident lawyers at Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC legal team explain Florida left lane laws and how they may impact your collision claim.

What Is the Florida Left Lane Law?

Florida Statutes § 316.081 prohibits driving on the left side of the road, except:

  • When passing another vehicle, as allowed by traffic laws
  • To drive around an obstruction, while yielding to oncoming traffic
  • If there are three marked lanes of traffic
  • On a one-way street, as indicated by signs

For the law to apply, the road must be wide enough to drive on the right side.

When a vehicle is traveling slower than the normal flow of traffic, the driver must operate in the right lane. It must travel as close as practical to the right curb or edge of the road except when passing or preparing to turn.

What is the penalty for a violation of the Florida left lane law?

A violation of Florida Statutes § 316.081, the Florida left lane law, is a moving, noncriminal traffic infraction.

Can you get a ticket for driving slowly in the left lane in Florida?

Driving slowly in the left lane may get you a traffic ticket in Florida. If there is room to drive in the right lane, and you don’t have a reason for being in the left lane, like preparing for a left turn, you can be ticketed for operating slowly in the left lane.

Proposed New Left Lane Law in Florida

Florida is considering adding to its left lane law. As of January 2024, bills are pending in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate.

What is the new left lane law in Florida?

The new left lane law in Florida is House Bill 317 and Senate Bill 258. The proposed laws would amend Florida Statutes § 316.081 to define the furthest left-hand lane and prohibit driving in the left lane on certain streets. There are exceptions to the proposed new law, like when overtaking and passing another vehicle, when exiting the roadway or when directed by a traffic control device.

The proposed new Florida left lane law doesn’t apply to emergency and highway maintenance or construction vehicles.

Proposed changes to the Florida left lane law add additional explanation of left-hand lanes, making it clear when driving in the right lane is required. For example, if the left-hand lane is a high-occupancy-vehicle lane, the left-hand lane is the one immediately to its right. The law explains that restrictions apply when the road has two lanes of travel in the same direction and a speed limit of 65 miles per hour or more. The proposed changes clarify exceptions for certain situations and operators, like authorized emergency vehicles.

Status Update of the New Florida Left Lane Law

House Bill 317 and Senate Bill 258 are the proposed new Florida left lane law. House Bill 317 was filed on November 2, 2023. It is supported by the Transportation & Modals Subcommittee.

The bill has been added to the Infrastructure Strategies Committee agenda.

Senate Bill 258 was filed on October 23, 2023. It was unanimously supported by the Transportation Committee. The bill is now with the Committee on Criminal Justice.

The bills state that, if passed, they will take effect January 1, 2025.

Is it legal to pass on the right in Florida?

Florida Statutes § 316.084 allows a vehicle to pass on the right if:

  • The vehicle passed is about to turn left,
  • There is room for two or more rows of traffic in each direction, or
  • On a one-way street, with no obstructions and with enough room for two rows of traffic

A driver may pass on the right only when they can do so safely. A vehicle may not drive off the pavement or the main roadway to pass on the right.

The law applies to passenger vehicles and trucks.

Violation of the law is a moving traffic infraction.

Florida Truck Lane Laws

In addition to laws that apply to all drivers, Florida has lane restrictions that apply just to trucking activity. On some rural interstate freeways, trucks are prohibited from driving in the left lane. The restrictions apply to:

  • I-95 (South Florida)
  • I-75 (Georgia border to the turnpike)
  • I-4 (Kissimmee to Tampa Airport, Tampa Airport to Osprey)
  • Florida Turnpike

Some restrictions say that trucks may not use the left lane. In other places, trucks must use the right two lanes. Applicability of the restrictions depends on the number of axles in some places.

The purpose of the lane restrictions is to prevent unsafe maneuvering of heavy vehicles.

A violation of Florida truck lane restrictions may be cited under Florida Statutes § 316.074 as a moving, noncriminal traffic infraction.

Why Passing on the Right is Dangerous

Passing on the right is a risky maneuver. The blind spot on the right is larger than it is on the left. The overtaking driver may not capably judge traffic and room to change lanes. In addition, other drivers may not expect to be passed on the right. Drivers may maneuver at an inappropriate time, causing a collision.

Interpreting Florida Left Lane Laws and Accident Claims

When an accident occurs, lane use may be an important question. A driver who violates left lane laws may be at fault for an accident.

Talk to an auto accident lawyer

At Maderal Byrne & Furst, we represent people injured in accidents and their families. Our team can investigate lane use violations. We can represent you in claiming the compensation that you deserve.

Call (305) 520-5690 or message us now to discuss your case.

Get In Touch

(305) 520-5690

Get in touch with Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC by calling or using the form below:

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Get In Touch

(305) 520-5690

Get in touch with Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC by calling or using the form below:

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.