Last year, more than 89 million people visited Florida. The Sunshine State is known around the world for its blue skies, year-round tropical weather and pristine beaches. In fact, Florida boasts 1,197 miles of coastline and 663 miles of beaches. A successful vacation can be achieved by knowing some of the important laws you may encounter on your trip.
Pedestrians have the right of way
Florida law gives pedestrians the right of way when crossing the street. With so many crosswalks in coastal areas that connect hotels and condos to the beach side, this is important to know as a pedestrian and as a driver. Pedestrians should understand that cars may not be aware of this law or may not follow it and make sure a vehicle is going to stop before entering the street. Drivers should always stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk, which in Florida is signaled with a yellow sign that shows a person walking, a rectangular sign below that says “Ped Xing” and white-lined crosswalks. Failing to adhere to this law can result in a pedestrian’s injury or death or a rear-end collision.
Florida’s “Move Over” law
Florida’s “Move Over” law requires vehicles that pass an emergency vehicle on the side of the road to slow down or move to the next lane, if possible. Failure to adhere to this law can result in someone on the side of the road getting hit and fines for the driver.
Saltwater fishing and boating laws
A major attraction to the miles and miles of Florida beaches is the chance to charter a vessel to go saltwater fishing. Charter companies and patrons must follow fishing and boating regulations and license laws. There are also laws that determine the types of fish you may keep. No matter what kind of boat you use, you are subject to boating regulations and laws. They deal with life jacket requirements, safety protocol, speed limits, etc. Just like with on-land vehicles, operating a boat while under the influence or while intoxicated is illegal and has serious consequences.
Driving on the beach
Certain beaches, usually those where the sand is tightly packed, allow the convenience of being able to drive your car onto them. When driving on allowed beaches, the speed limit is 10 mph, and it is strictly enforced. Speeding may result in fines and possibly an accident. There are also laws that regulate the hours you are allowed to drive on the beach and how much a pass costs.
Protected and endangered wildlife and environment
Many of Florida’s most beautiful attractions are endangered or protected. Violating laws concerning endangered species or protected environments can result in serious fines and legal consequences. For example, boating speed limits are strictly enforced in areas that have manatees, and you are never allowed to remove animals or plants or even step on sand dunes.
If you were injured in a boating accident, hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk or face any other physical or legal repercussions after your vacation in Florida, call a personal injury attorney knowledgeable in the state’s law and ready to fight for your justice.