You have been driving for years, but there are some rules of the road that you may have been breaking without even knowing it. One of the most widely misunderstood circumstances is whether or not you can make a left turn over a double yellow line – and if there are exceptions. For example, what if you need to turn into a driveway, but to do so you must cross a double yellow line? Could you be ticketed for this maneuver?
The Florida driver’s handbook is clear on what is considered a citation-worthy offense. If there are two lanes and there is a double yellow line separating those lanes, you cannot cross them – even if that is to turn into your own driveway. You can cross, however, if there is a gap in the double yellow lines that permits your left hand turn. If seen by police, you will likely receive a citation for crossing the double yellow line (when a gap is not present), the citation being for improper turning or passing over a double yellow line.
However, the citation is not the only thing you will need to worry about. The infraction is considered a moving violation, which means you will be given three points on your license; and, while the fine amount varies depending on the county you are in, it will typically cost you around $160.
Double yellow lines are used for road markings as a way to separate the different lanes. They help differentiate the opposing sides of a road or highway and indicate a no-passing zone. The only time you can legally cross a double yellow line is for emergency maneuvers or a temporary traffic flow change due to construction work. If, however, the line becomes dashed, you are allowed to pass freely and make a left turn across that line, as long as it is safe to do so.
Most importantly, you have to consider the civil ramifications as well as the criminal ramifications for what seems like a simple infraction. If you are crossing a solid double yellow line to turn into a residence, business, or elsewhere and you cause an accident, you are the one liable for any injuries and property damage that occurs – even if the other vehicle was speeding It is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road not only to avoid traffic citations, but to avoid being held liable for injuries that you may cause in an accident.
The city places double yellow lines not only as a way to ensure proper traffic flow, but also to prevent injuries and accidents from occurring. Failure to follow these road signs and laws is considered negligence in civil court.
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