What’s New With Florida’s Motor Vehicle Laws?

Some rights reserved by TwixFlorida had quite a few changes in motor vehicle laws with the start of 2013. One of the big changes is with the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law. This applies to motor vehicle accidents and creates many new requirements. (We wrote a post about this when it was first signed into law.) Some highlights are that there is less time to file claims and some medical professionals can no longer be seen if treatment is to be covered under PIP law. The Insurance Information Institute sums up all of the changes here. This law is changing in an effort to reduce PIP fraud, a rampant problem in Florida.

In addition, many other changes to motor vehicle laws went into affect in one big bill-CS/CS/HB 1223. The link to all of the changes is here, but Attorney Christopher D. Smith with SmithLaw offers some highlights:

  • Flashing headlights to warn of police presence is now “more” legal. For years, many have used flashing headlights as a way to warn of police in the area. Then some Florida Highway Patrol officers, and other law enforcement, began ticketing motorists involved in this activity. There have even been lawsuits about it. Provisions in this new bill prohibit this type of ticket now, but some feel that other Florida laws might technically allow a ticket for this behavior.
  • Bicycle riders can now get literature about safety, rather than a citation, if stopped by an officer for a lighting violation. (Up to the officer’s discretion.)
  • Swamp buggies and golf carts have new rules to follow.
  • The truly homeless can now receive free ID cards.
  • School buses can go a little faster out there on the road, as long as they follow posted limits.
  • And now those with a Combat Infantry Badge will have their own specialty license plate.

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