Florida law lets drivers roll right on red lights

April 4, 2014 

Maybe one of the reasons drivers in Manatee County are confused about whether or not they can do a "rolling" right turn on a red (that's when you turn without coming to a full stop) is because the statute says it's OK.

In clear English, Florida Statute 316.0083 (1) (a) says, "A notice of violation and a traffic citation may not be issued for failure to stop at a red light if the driver is making a right-hand turn in a careful and prudent manner at an intersection where right-hand turns are permissible."

However, in MyManatee.org, the county's official website, the question, "Will I receive a notice of violation if I do not come to a complete stop when I'm making a right turn at an intersection monitored by a red light safety camera?"

The county's answer is "Yes," and it refers the reader to Florida Statute 316.0083 (1) (a), which, as I wrote in the second paragraph above, says it is OK to make a rolling right turn.

In pursuing this obvious contradiction, I called Manatee County for an explanation and was told someone would respond. The email I received was an actual copy of Florida Statute 316.0083 (1) (a) highlighted in bright yellow.

When I questioned that, the originator of the email told me that the statute was no longer in effect, that it had been changed to say you may not make a rolling right turn on red; that you have to come to a complete stop first.

So, I called the Division of Law Revision and Information in Tallahassee. They are the people who publish official statutes. The person in charge told me the statute has not been changed, and that it sounded to him as if Manatee County has a "scam" going.

Kathleen Richardson


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