Florida, known for our severe weather patterns, strange crimes involving wildlife, and great sports teams, just implemented a new law that will save motorists money and stress! Approved by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 29th, 2021, new Florida law, Chapter No. 2021-188, allows Florida motorist to use their hazard lights during periods of heavy rainfall in limited circumstances. This law officially went into effect on Thursday, July 1st 2021. Florida is now in the company of more than 40 other states who allow the use of hazard lights while driving in certain situations.
What Does the New Law Say?
The new law, Chapter No. 2021-188, was previously proposed as Senate Bill 1194. Under Section 1, subsection 5, you can read the pertinent provision, which states that Florida drivers may use their hazard lights when:
There is “extremely low visibility” on the roadway, and
The posted speed limit is at least 55 miles per hour.
This new law modifies Florida Statute 316.2397(7), which used to prohibit the use of hazard lights in the rain. Low visibility can arise from a range of severe weather patterns, including heavy fog, rain, or smoke.
Violating this statute constitutes a noncriminal traffic infraction, punished as a nonmoving violation as stated in Florida Statute 318.18. This statute provides that the penalty for a nonmoving traffic violation is $30.
However, there definitely are proponents of the new law as well! Many Floridians are expressing relief and delight in the new law because in times of heavy rain, “where there is no good place to pull over, putting on your hazard lights makes it easier for other drivers to see them.”
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.