Improper Passing or Lane Change Tickets
From time to time, we’ve all passed other vehicles that we share the roadway with. In Tampa, and the rest of Florida, there’s a right way of passing, and three wrong ways of passing. Those are addressed by Florida Statute 316.083. If a police officer witnesses a driver making a passing maneuver in any of the three wrong ways, it’s likely that the driver will be cited. If a police officer doesn’t witness the maneuver, the driver can still expect to be cited for the offense after an accident. Here are the three ways that a driver can expect to receive an improper passing ticket:
- Passing on the Right: This usually occurs on a four-lane road when a vehicle is traveling too slowly in the left lane. Both vehicles are in violation of the law under these circumstances.
- Blind Passing: This occurs on curves or hills when a pass is made in the oncoming traffic lane, and the passing driver can’t see oncoming traffic at a safe distance.
- Dangerous Passing: This offense involves cutting another vehicle off after making a pass. We’ve all been cut off at one time or another.
Improper Lane Changes
Lane change violations are contemplated by Florida Statute 316.085. In order to legally change lanes in Florida, a driver must first ascertain that the maneuver can be completed with a clear path. That includes lane changes when passing another vehicle. If a pass is being made, it must be completed before coming within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle. A violation can also occur in the context of being approached or passed by another vehicle on either side of the driver that is traveling in the same direction. The driver who is being approached or passed must make a lane change in a safe and careful manner. A police officer will usually write an improper lane change ticket after an accident, but he or she can independently cite a driver if the officer witnessed the offense.
Improper passing and improper lane change violations carry a fine of up to $300 plus court costs and at least three points against your license. Points can be waived upon enrollment and satisfactory completion of a defensive driving course. A person can only take such a course once a year.
Contact RHINO Lawyers
There are alternative dispositions to improper passing and improper lane change charges. Don’t ignore them. Our goal is to obtain the best possible disposition of your traffic case. Contesting your ticket is the only way of approaching that. Contact us as soon as possible after being cited, and we’ll let you know what we think we might be able to do for you.