When Is Passing on the Right Permitted in Florida?
Gregg Hollander | December 21, 2022 | Florida Law
According to most drivers in the state, passing on the right is a no-no in Florida. They are mostly correct. In the Sunshine State, you will get a ticket for passing on the right in most cases. And your chances of causing a wreck usually go up exponentially. However, there are instances when it is permissible.
Passing in Florida
Whether passing on the right or the left in Florida, all drivers must take the same steps to ensure their safety and the safety of others in traffic.
These steps include:
- Maintain a safe distance from the car to be passed
- Check mirrors and blind spots
- Make sure the area in front of the car to be passed is clear
- Activate the turn signal to alert of the intent to pass
- Honk lightly
- Ensure the passing lane is clear
- Execute the pass safely
- Activate the turn signal to alert of returning to the driving lane
Under the following situations, passing is not allowed and is considered to be dangerous:
- In no-passing zones
- While going around curves
- The presence of a single solid road line
Passing is also prohibited in certain instances involving school buses when stopped on the side of the road.
Passing on the Right in Florida
Although usually impermissible, passing on the right is allowable in a few different cases.
Florida law allows passing on the right in the following situations:
- When the vehicle to be passed is making or about to make a left turn
- On a road with two or more lanes of traffic moving in each direction
- Upon a street going in one direction that is free of obstructions
In no case can a driver pass another vehicle on the right by going off the designated roadway. For instance, it is unlawful to drive onto the right shoulder to pass another vehicle. Additionally, in no case should a driver execute a pass on the right if the conditions are not safe to do so.
Penalties for Passing on the Right
Drivers who pass on the right can face hefty fines if caught doing so by law enforcement. If a driver causes a crash after negligently passing on the right, they may face significant civil and criminal liability.
Of particular note are situations involving passing stopped school buses on either the right or the left. If a school bus is stopped and has its lights on and the stop sign extended, drivers must not pass either on the right or left.
Because passing on the right is much more dangerous than on the left, the fines associated, which begin at $400, are higher. Fines for passing a bus on the left begin at $200.
If a crash occurs caused by a negligent driver passing on the right, the victims of the crash can pursue a claim for compensation based on negligence. The police will also get involved if an unlawful right pass is executed.
Emergency Situations and Passing on the Right
Sometimes, drivers find themselves having to make an illegal right pass to avoid an emergency situation. Although there is no law that explicitly shields drivers from immunity in a situation like this, the facts of the situation could provide a strong defense against criminal or civil liability in the event of a crash or a ticket.
Drivers facing liability for making a right pass should immediately contact an experienced traffic attorney for a vigorous defense.
Knowing the state’s traffic laws will help keep you from running afoul of the law and paying for speeding tickets. It will also reduce your risk of experiencing a car accident or a motorcycle crash and being held liable for another’s injuries and property damage.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
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