Following another motor vehicle too closely increases the chances of an accident. It also can create tension on the road since the tailgating vehicle may be aggressively close to the other vehicle. Since tailgating can lead to deadly accidents Florida has established laws that prohibit vehicles from following another too closely than is “reasonable and prudent."
For many people accused of tailgating, the act itself was merely a means to an end. Many people tailgate to pass others, go to an exit or to merely navigate the road. Most tailgating tickets are from people who didn’t tailgate for very long at all and didn’t do so in an act of rage or frustration. However, that doesn’t mean officers won’t ticket you quickly if they spy you tailgating another vehicle. If you or someone you know has been ticketed for tailgating, then it’s recommended you seek legal counsel immediately.
Tailgating Defense Lawyers in West Palm Beach, Florida
Nearly every driver is guilty of tailgating at some point in their driving career. Most people don’t even know that tailgating can be reasonable grounds for an officer to ticket you. Law enforcement tend to give tailgating citations after an rear-end collision accident. That doesn’t mean you are required to pay it though. You can choose to contest your ticket with experienced and skilled legal representation from Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have collectively 20 years of practice defending people from traffic tickets of all sorts including tailgating. We can assess your case and build a defense so you don’t have to add unneeded points to your license. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. practices throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including St. Lucie County, Martin County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County.
Overview of Tailgating in FL
- What Does Florida Consider to be Tailgating?
- How Much is a Ticket for Tailgating?
- How Many Points Can I Get on My Record for Tailgating?
- Additional Resources
What Does Florida Consider to be Tailgating?
The definition for tailgating in Florida is pretty vague, so it can be difficult to determine what tailgating actually is under the law. Florida Statutes Section 316.0895 states that no driver should follow a vehicle more closely than is “reasonable and prudent,” having due regard for the speed of the vehicles, the current traffic and the condition of the highway.
As you can see, the statute isn’t very specific on what “reasonable and prudent” is. That leaves a lot of interruption for the jury when they are deciding your verdict. It also means your defense can argue that the statute’s lack of specificity means your ticket didn’t constitute as tailgating.
The statute does go on to say that it’s unlawful for the driver of a truck, a truck drawing another vehicle, or a vehicle towing another vehicle or trailer must follow within 300 feet of another truck, motor truck drawing a vehicle or vehicle towing a vehicle or trailer. This is not to be confused with overtaking or passing another car or for lanes designated specially for motor trucks and other slow-moving vehicles. This rule, however, does not apply to funeral processions who can carry on regardless of other vehicles and generally granted leniency.
How Much is a Ticket for Tailgating in Florida?
If law enforcement catches you driving too closely to another vehicle, they may cite you for tailgating. You will receive a moving violation and be required to pay a fine of $60 for tailgating. Failure to pay the fine in time will result in the automatic suspension of your license until the fine is paid in full. If this is your second or subsequent offense, then your fine may be enhanced.
It’s important you pay you full fine amount before the deadline if you admit guilt. Failure to do so could result in a traffic summons being sent to you. That means you will be required to go to court for failure to pay your fine. In addition, the court will apply penalty fees on top of your fine since you didn’t meet the deadline in time.
How Many Points Can I Get on My License for Tailgating?
A fine isn’t the only consequence you could face for tailgating. The state may also add points to your license as an additional punishment. These points will remain on your driving record for up to three years and if you accumulate 12 or more within a year period than your license will be suspended automatically. For that reason, it’s recommended you avoid admitting guilt, so you don’t have any more unneeded points on your record.
For tailgating you will receive three points on your record if you plead guilty or no contest. You may be able to avoid the points if you agree to completing driver’s school online or in-person. The course will “re-teach” you standard driving laws and educate you on the dangers of tailgating another person too closely.
Share the Road | DHSMV – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to learn more about their share the road program. Learn the dangers of tailgating for motorcycles, rules for motorcyclists and statistics showing how deadly following too closely on a motorcycle is.
Florida’s Tailgating Laws – Visit the official website for Florida’s Statues to read more on their tailgating laws. Access the site to find out the exceptions to the tailgating rule, penalties for tailgating and other related traffic violations in Florida.
Palm Beach County Attorney for Tailgating Tickets in Florida
If you or someone you know has been cited for tailgating, get in contact with Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We will work tirelessly to get your ticket resolved with little to no penalties. We have years of experience on both the prosecutor and defense side. We know what it takes to fight a tailgating ticket and save your driving record.
Call us now at (561) 500-5000 and we will set up your first consultation free of charge today. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area and surrounding counties including Martin County, Miami-Dade County, St. Lucie County and Broward County.