Under Florida Statute § 316.003(44), the phrase official traffic control devices is defined as all signs, signals, markings, and devices, not inconsistent with this chapter, placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic.
Florida Statute § 316.008(3) stipulates that no local authority can erect or maintain any official traffic control device at any location without first obtaining approval in writing from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
While a ticket for an alleged traffic sign violation is usually a civil infraction punishable by a fine only, simply paying the fine is the same as pleading guilty to the alleged offense. People who are convicted of multiple traffic sign violations risk having their driver's licenses suspended or revoked.
Attorney for Traffic Sign Tickets in Florida
Were you cited anywhere in the Miami metropolitan area for allegedly violating a traffic sign? Do not pay any fine until you have first contacted Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for help understanding all of your options.
are experienced traffic ticket lawyers in Fort Lauderdale who represent clients in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and several surrounding areas of South Florida. Call (561) 500-5000 today to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Call (561) 500-5000 today to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Traffic Sign Tickets in Florida
- What are traffic sign violations in Florida?
- Are there any defenses against tickets issued for traffic sign violations?
- Where can I find more information about traffic signs in Broward County?
Florida Statute § 316.0745(1) establishes that FDOT must adopt a uniform system of traffic control devices for use on the streets and highways of Florida. The uniform system must conform to the system adopted by the American Association of State Highway Officials and must be revised to include changes necessary to conform to a uniform national system or to meet local and state needs.
Under Florida Statute § 316.0745(5), it is unlawful for any public body to manufacture for installation or placement any traffic control signal, guide, or directional sign or device unless it conforms to the uniform system of traffic control devices published by FDOT.
Provisions of Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes, otherwise known as the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law, are not deemed under Florida Statute § 316.008(1) to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:
- Regulating or prohibiting stopping, standing, or parking;
- Regulating traffic by means of police officers or official traffic control devices;
- Regulating or prohibiting processions or assemblages on the streets or highways, including all state or federal highways lying within their boundaries;
- Designating particular highways or roadways for use by traffic moving in one direction;
- Establishing speed limits for vehicles in public parks;
- Designating any street as a through street or designating any intersection as a stop or yield intersection;
- Restricting the use of streets;
- Regulating the operation of bicycles;
- Regulating or prohibiting the turning of vehicles or specified types of vehicles;
- Altering or establishing speed limits within the provisions of this chapter;
- Requiring written crash reports;
- Designating no-passing zones;
- Prohibiting or regulating the use of controlled access roadways by any class or kind of traffic;
- Prohibiting or regulating the use of heavily traveled streets by any class or kind of traffic found to be incompatible with the normal and safe movement of traffic;
- Designating hazardous railroad grade crossings in conformity to criteria promulgated by the Department of Transportation;
- Designating and regulating traffic on play streets;
- Prohibiting pedestrians from crossing a roadway in a business district or any designated highway except on a crosswalk;
- Regulating pedestrian crossings at unmarked crosswalks;
- Regulating persons upon skates, coasters, and other toy vehicles;
- Adopting and enforcing such temporary or experimental regulations as may be necessary to cover emergencies or special conditions;
- Enacting ordinances or erecting signs in the rights-of-way to control, regulate, or prohibit hitchhiking on streets or highways, including all state or federal highways lying within their boundaries;
- Regulating, restricting, or prohibiting traffic within the boundary of any airport owned by the state, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision and enforcing violations under the provisions of Chapter 316 and Chapter 318 of the Florida Statutes; and
- Regulating, restricting, or monitoring traffic by security devices or personnel on public streets and highways, whether by public or private parties and providing for the construction and maintenance of such streets and highways.
Failure to stop at a stop sign is perhaps the most common traffic sign ticket issued in Florida, but state law also makes violations of any of the following statutes involving common traffic signs noncriminal traffic infractions:
- Flashing signals — Florida Statute § 316.076 (moving violation);
- Display of unauthorized signs, signals or markings — Florida Statute § 316.077 (nonmoving violation);
- Detour signs to be respected — Florida Statute § 316.078 (nonmoving violation for tearing, breaking down, or defacing any detour sign, moving violation for driving around any barricade erected for the purpose of closing any section of a public street or highway to traffic that is under construction or repair or driving over such section of public street or highway until open to public traffic);
- Duty to yield to highway construction workers — Florida Statute § 316.079 (moving violation);
- No-passing zones — Florida Statute § 316.0875 (moving violation);
- Limited access facilities; interstate highways; use restricted — Florida Statute § 316.091 (moving violation); and
- Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection — Florida Statute § 316.123 (moving violation).
Paying a fine for a traffic sign citation is the same as pleading guilty. The conviction will count against a motorist's driving record.
Any person who has been ticketed for a traffic sign violation should seek legal representation for help fighting to have the citation dismissed. Every case is different, but some of the most common defenses against tickets issued for traffic sign violations include:
- Obstruction — Alleged offenders may be able to claim that traffic signs were difficult—or impossible—to see because of tree branches, shrubbery, or other items being in front of the signs. People should always take pictures of such impediments to bring to court.
- Challenge Officer Observations — The perspective from which a police officer views an alleged traffic sign violation can dramatically impact the conclusions he or she draws. When a violation is viewed from a great distance or obstructed view, an alleged offender may be able to argue that the officer misinterpreted otherwise lawful conduct.
Highway Signing | FDOT — Visit this section of the FDOT website to learn more about its Highway Signing Program. Learn more about control cities, access a highway sign library, and find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find a traffic engineering manual.
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) | Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) — The MUTCD is the publication issued by the FHWA that "defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel." On this website, you can view the current edition of the MUTCD. You can also view the Standard Highway Sign Manual, the FHWA's supplement to the MUTCD.
Find a Traffic Sign Lawyer in Florida
If you were issued a ticket for allegedly violating a traffic sign in South Florida, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. assists motorists in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and Miami-Dade County.
Fort Lauderdale traffic ticket attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will work to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest penalties.
Our attorneys can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (561) 500-5000 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.
From left to right: Ari Goldberg, Lawrence Meltzer, Steven Bell, Kristie Cohen, Matthew Shafran
West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 283-3259
330 Clemantis St Suite 113
West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 500-5000
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 716-8538