You watch your speed (most of the time). You know to call an Uber when you’re enjoying some adult beverages. You keep your registration up to date. You know the main reasons you could be pulled over and do your best to avoid them – and the penalties that come with getting a traffic violation. But did you know that there are other reasons besides speed or obvious impairment that you could be pulled over in the state of Florida? Here are a few reasons that FHP may use to pull you over, which you may not be aware of:
Your license plate cover
Yes, you read that right. But it’s not exactly the cover itself at issue; rather, if the cover is obscuring any part of your license plate. An appeals court in Florida recently ruled that none of the lettering on vehicle license plates can be obscured by frames (or anything else). This ruling resulted from a case where a driver was pulled over by an officer because the words “My Florida” were covered by his license plate frame, and the officer ultimately discovered narcotics in the car upon searching the vehicle. If you use a license plate frame, or any other accessories, make sure it does not obscure any part of your plate.
Your Tag Light Being Out
Not only should your license plate be completely unobstructed by frames or accessories; it also should be illuminated properly by your tag light – and if this light is out, it could be a reason in the state of Florida for an officer to pull you over.
Passing on the Right
While you are probably aware that passing traffic should travel in the left lane, you might not know that it’s actually illegal to pass another vehicle on the right in most cases in Florida. Here are the only cases where passing on the right is permitted:
-If the vehicle being passed is about to make a left turn;
-Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving traffic in each direction;
-Upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.
It is also important to note that you may only pass another vehicle on the right “under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.” (2018 Florida Statutes)
Your window tint
With the hot Florida sun, window tinting is popular and helps keep your vehicle cool while cutting the glare from the bright sun rays. But did you know that you can be pulled over for tint that is too dark? Here are the rules when it comes to tinting your car windows so you can avoid a potential traffic stop and ticket before you tint:
-Front side windows: must allow more than 28% of light in, and must not be more than 25% reflective.
-Rear side windows and rear windows: must allow more than 15% of light in, and must not be more than 25% reflective.
-Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed ONLY along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line.
Driving Too Slow
You are well aware of the penalties that can come with speeding – but did you know that you can be pulled over and ticketed for driving too slow? Florida law states: “The minimum speed limit on all highways that comprise a part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and have not fewer than four lanes is 40 miles per hour, except that when the posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour, the minimum speed limit is 50 miles per hour.”
If you’re pulled over and given a traffic citation, it’s important to know your rights as a motorist – and this includes knowing what reasons law enforcement officers can legally stop you. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, remain calm and respectful and ask the officer why you were stopped. If you are ultimately given a citation, contact Tampa attorney John Castro at Anton Castro Law. Mr. Castro and his team will work tirelessly to represent your best interests. (813)907-9807