Florida has over 815,000 teens with driver's licenses, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). While driver's education can teach teens to be safe on the road, that doesn't guarantee they'll always follow the law. Here’s a look at some of the most common citations teen drivers receive in the Sunshine State.
Speeding is the primary cause of teen crashes, according to FLHSMV. And unfortunately, 58,802 teen drivers received a ticket for speeding in 2019.
“Speeding is another common violation among young drivers because the thrill of driving fast is so intoxicating to young people,” said David Riecher, a traffic attorney and expert at LegalAdvice.com. “It is important for young drivers to follow the speed limit and to make sure to be especially vigilant when weather conditions make the roads more susceptible to an accident.”
In 2019, 18,388 teen drivers received careless driving tickets. What these tickets mean can seem a little vague. Florida statute 316.1925 describes careless driving as "operating a vehicle without the careful and prudent regard for the safety of others and their property." A wide range of behaviors classify as careless driving, including texting and driving.
“Even though texting and driving do not always lead to a car accident, it is nonetheless extremely dangerous conduct," Riecher said. "The likelihood of an accident increases significantly when a driver does not drive defensively by shutting off their cell phone while in an automobile.”
Driving Without Proof of Insurance
This ticket usually comes in addition to another one. Typically, an officer will pull a teen over for breaking a road rule and discover that the teen has no proof of insurance. Luckily, if you do have insurance, this is an easy fix. Just show proof to the county clerk at a later time and pay a small $10 fine to dismiss the ticket. More than 10,350 teens received this ticket in 2019.
Failure to Obey Traffic Signs or Devices
Rushing to events, speeding, and not paying attention happens in everyday life for many people, and teens are no different. That's why, in 2019, more than 7,300 Florida teens got tickets for not obeying traffic signs or devices. This includes running a red light or stop sign, passing in a no-passing zone, going over the speed limit, or going the wrong way on a one-way street.
Curfew and Other Learner License Violations
Under the Florida graduated license program, a 16-year-old driver can only drive between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. unless driving to a place of employment. At age 17, a teen cannot drive between the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Also, they need a driver 21 years or older with them at all times. Unfortunately, sometimes teens choose to break these rules. In 2019, 7,052 teens got learner license violations.
Failing to Wear a Seat Belt
Teens can lead busy lives, especially with the technology distractions in place today. Some even forget to buckle up, which is illegal in every state, including Florida. There were 5,041 teen driver citations for seat belt violations in 2019.
Obey the Law and Stay Safe
Just like many other states, in the mid-1990s, Florida implemented law changes to keep teen drivers safe and reduce the number of accidents. It’s important for any teen driver to remember that traffic rules are in place to protect them and other drivers on the road.