Florida deems an individual to have a violation regarding improper lane change when a driver attempts to change or changes lane without an open, clear path, as clearly defined in Florida statutes:
(1) No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of this chapter and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction of any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.
(2) No vehicle shall be driven from a direct course in any lane on any highway until the driver has determined that the vehicle is not being approached or passed by any other vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver desires to move and that the move can be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction.
This can be charged by a police officer whether an accident has occurred because of the improper lane change or not.
Additionally, an offender could face suspension or revocation of their driver’s license if they accumulate too many points within a given time frame:
“A person’s license is suspended respectively for either not more than 30 days, not more than 3 months, or not more than 1 year if they accumulate 12 points within 12 months, 18 points within 18 months, or 24 points within 36 months.”
Typically fines for an improper lane change range from $65.00 to $300, but can be much higher if other laws were broken or if someone was injured. The good news is that improper lane changes are only “improper” based on the opinion of said police officer. Therefore, an individual can and should fight these charges to avoid such penalties as a fine,a three point offense on their driver’s license, as well as other stressful consequences like increases in prices for auto insurance policies, or cancellation of insurance policies altogether
Our experienced attorneys here at Finebloom, Haenel& Higgins have successfully fought and won countless cases that fall under improper lane changes, as there are an abundance of factors that could remove the blame. Call us anytime at 1-800-FIGHT-IT (1-800-344-4848) for a strategic approach in formulating the best defense possible for your individual needs.