What You Need to Know About Driving in Florida

Here Are Rules of the Road in the Sunshine State

Ohio Key, Monroe County, Florida
••• The Overseas Highway. Ohip Key, Monroe County, Florida. © Photographer, Bob Sacha/Getty Images

Packing up the car and making a road trip across the country is an all-American kind of vacation that has freedom as its centerpiece. You go where you want, when you want, and stop where you want. It's the stuff of novels and movies. If you're planning on a road trip through Florida, it's smart to know the rules of the road and some basic information about the state before you set off on a journey that's sure to be remembered for years to come. So before you load the luggage, snacks, and electronic devices into the car, get the 411 on a few details to make sure you reach your destination safely and with a minimum of unforeseen hassles.

Florida Traffic Laws

  • In Florida, it is perfectly legal to turn right at a red traffic light provided there is no traffic coming or a sign telling you otherwise.
  • The driver and front seat passenger must wear seat belts, and every passenger in the vehicle under the age of 18 must be restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device, regardless of seating position.
  • Florida law requires all children ​5 years of age or younger be restrained in a proper child restraint system.
  • Do not drink and drive. Florida has one of the toughest DUI laws in the U.S. Before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle in Florida, know the law.
  • Florida’s “Move Over Act," passed in 2002, requires drivers to move over to the next lane or slow down to at least 20 miles below the posted speed limit when approaching emergency vehicles that are stopped on interstates or other highways.
  • Beware of Florida's red light cameras at major intersections. Snapshots of red light runners are reviewed by law enforcement and citations issued via mail.

Helpful Facts and Facts

  • The Florida Highway Patrol promotes safety on Florida’s highways through enforcement and education. Call *FHP from your cell phone in case of an emergency. Dial 511 to get the scoop on traffic anywhere in Florida. You can also get information online at Florida 511 website, where you have three options: get current traffic conditions, view traffic cameras, or set up personalized traffic profiles.
  • In January 2002, the Florida Department of Transportation began the task of changing the exit numbers of interstate highways from consecutive numbers to mile-marker numbers. If you're using an old paper map, this change could prove confusing. Pay attention to the mile-marker numbers on an old map for clues about the new exit numbers.
  • Check out this webpage for the locations of rest areas and welcome centers in Florida and find out the facilities that are available at each one.
  • Florida's SunPass is a prepaid toll program available on most of Florida's toll roads and at Orlando International Airport.

Turnpikes in Florida

The Florida Turnpike is a 450-mile system of limited-access toll highways. Services on turnpikes across the state include emergency call boxes, road rangers, service plazas, and traffic management centers. The turnpikes are:

  • Polk Parkway
  • Seminole Expressway
  • Suncoast Parkway
  • The Veteran's Expressway
  • Western Beltway