Living in Florida has its perks – white sand beaches, mild winters, and enough diversity to make the restaurant scene pretty spectacular. It also has a couple of drawbacks. Hurricanes, mediocre football teams, and drivers that make you wish for an effective public transportation system – just to name a few.
In addition to the large number of motor vehicles on our roadways, you have to pay special attention to trucks. Due to their weight and size, getting involved in an accident with a truck driver could result in serious injuries and property damage. And, if you’re the one who’s driving them, you need to be aware of all traffic laws relating to trucks.
Florida Statutes define trucks as any motor vehicle with a net weight of 5,000 pounds or less, designed or used principally to transport goods other than the personal effects of the passengers. If the vehicle weighs more than 5,000 pounds, it’s considered to be a heavy truck, which means it’s subjected to annual license taxes.
Florida Traffic Laws for Trucks
1. License Requirements
Every motor vehicle in Florida is required to be licensed in the name of the owner. Commercial trucks weighing more than 26,001 pounds are required to display their license plates on both the front and back of the truck.
2. Size and Weight Restrictions
Florida Statutes section 316.515 establishes that no vehicle may exceed a height of 13 feet and six inches. As for width, it may not exceed 102 inches, exclusive of safety devices installed for the safe operation of the truck. Exterior rearview mirrors can only extend the distance that’s necessary to provide an appropriate field of view.
3. Distance Between Vehicles
Truck drivers and vehicles towing another vehicle are required to allow at least 300 feet of space between them and another motor vehicle.
4. Passing Vehicles
Truck drivers are allowed to reduce the 300 feet of space requirement only when passing a vehicle. Passing on the right is only legal when there are two or more lanes of traffic of vehicles moving in the same direction.
5. Driving Hours
Florida Statutes 315.302 establishes that persons operating a commercial motor vehicle intrastate may not drive more than 12 consecutive hours, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
6. Driving Under the Influence
Although the legal alcohol limit for purposes of a DUI is .08, truck drivers are held to a higher standard due to the size and weight of their motor vehicle. The legal limit for persons operating a truck is .04. When in doubt, use a breathalyzer before getting behind the wheel.
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Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.