Following Too Closely (Tail-Gating)

As our experienced Palm Beach and Broward traffic ticket defense attorneys know, following too closely (or “tail-gating”) is prohibited according to Florida State Statute 316.0895. According to the statute, a driver shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is “reasonable and prudent,” with consideration of the speed of the vehicles and the condition of the roads upon which the vehicles are driving. Frequently, in incidents of a rear-end collision, a law enforcement officer will cite the behind vehicle for having followed too closely, regardless of whether or not that was actually the case; if it appears that way, though, the cited could face penalties as described in Chapter 318 of the State Statutes.

Furthermore, per the statute, it is unlawful for the driver of any motor truck (or motor truck drawing another vehicle, or vehicle towing another vehicle or trailer), when it is driving on a roadway outside of a business or residence district, to drive within 300 feet of another motor truck (or motor truck drawing another vehicle, or vehicle towing another vehicle or trailer). However, as the statute is quick to point-out, the language in the subsection outlining this 300-foot rule “shall not be construed to prevent overtaking and passing nor shall the same apply upon any lane specially designated for use by motor trucks or other slow-moving vehicles.”

Additionally, the statute outlines that motor vehicles being driven upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade – whether or not towing other vehicles – shall be so operated as to allow sufficient space between each such vehicle or combination of vehicles as to enable any other vehicle to enter and occupy such space without danger. There is a caveat to this, however: this rule does not apply to funeral processions, who can carry on without regard to the rules specified in this subsection and who are generally granted lenience.

Indeed, according to Florida law, the motor vehicles that comprise a funeral procession are to follow the vehicle in front of them as closely as is practical and safe. Moreover, at intersections, regardless of traffic control devices that may be present, if the cars in a funeral procession are operating with due care, funeral processions are granted the right-of-way, provided that they yield the right of way to an approaching emergency vehicle giving an audible or visible signal and that they yield the right of way when instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer.

Our trained and dedicated traffic ticket defense lawyers know that a violation of s. 316.0895 can yield a $60 fine, points on your license and/or required driving school. If you’ve received a ticket for following too closely in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact our traffic ticket attorneys for a free consultation. To see how we can help you avoid fines and other damaging penalties stemming from a citation of following too closely, call us at 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).

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