We've all been there. Not exactly sure where we're going, looking on both sides of the street for an address, and when we spot it, it's on the other side of the street and we're going in the opposite direction away from it.
And, of course, we're late.
What to do?
You quickly weigh your options, look around and decide to do it.
An Illegal U-turn.
As you sit waiting for the cars to pass so you can turn, you again take a quick look around, and turn the wheel as fast as you can hoping not to get caught.
But, I ask you, do you know if the U-turn you just made was legal or illegal? Do you know how to tell the difference?
In actuality, in Florida, it's fairly easy to tell. Most U-turns are, in fact, legal.
Here's what you need to know.
The Florida Statute on U-turns is 316.1515 and it's very short and easy to read.
Basically, what it says is that you can make a turn in the opposite direction (a U-turn), on any street, as long as it can be made safely and without interfering with the other traffic.
However, there is also one additional thing to consider.
You have to make sure there is no sign saying that you cannot make a U-turn. Sometimes they use fancy language and say things like "U-turn Prohibited" and sometimes it's a picture of an arrow in the direction of the U-turn you are about to make along with one of those red circles with the line through it, made famous from the movie Ghostbusters.
At any rate, the sign is really the main thing to look out for. No sign, you should be OK, as long as you do it safely and don't get in anyone's way. Watch out for pedestrians as well. Sometimes, they are walking along and don't expect a car to make a U-turn.
The worst thing to happen, is that you get the ticket for making an illegal U-turn. Not only will you be even later to your appointment, but if you don't fight the ticket and just pay it, you will end up with points on your license.
As a reader of this blog, you know how I feel about just paying a ticket and taking points (hint: always fight your tickets).
If you received a ticket for an illegal U-turn and want to fight it with a traffic attorney whose law firm has fought over 500,000 tickets, feel free to call 866-374-8355.