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When Does Speeding Become Reckless Driving?

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on June 22, 2018

A pickup truck in an auto accidentAccording to numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding contributed to 27 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accident in 2016. This number if consistent with statistics from previous years, revealing the dangers of exceeding the speed limit.

Given that so many fatal collisions and injury auto accidents are related to speeding, our team of Daytona Beach, FL lawyers have dealt with plenty of cases related to excessive speed. There’s an issue of recklessness to keep in mind, which is why we want to consider when speeding may be classified as reckless driving under Florida state law.

The Speed Limit in Florida

Current speed limits in Florida are as follows:

  • Rural Interstates and Limited Access Highways - 70 mph
  • All Other Roads and Highways - 55 mph
  • Municipal Speed Areas and Business/Residential Areas - 30 mph
  • School Zones - 20 mph

No matter what road you’re driving one, be sure to observe the posted speed limit signs, note the flow of traffic and the speed of other motorists, and be sure to adjust your speed to account for any poor weather or adverse road conditions.

Legal Definition of Reckless Driving in Florida

In Florida, reckless driving occurs when a motorist drives a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This covers a wide range of behaviors on the road since recklessness can take many different forms.

Speed Alone Does Not Mean Reckless Driving

While excessive speed can be an element of reckless driving, speeding alone cannot be considered reckless driving in Florida. The legal definitions and requirements for reckless driving can vary from state to state, so keep that in mind.

Other Behaviors Necessary for Reckless Driving

In addition to speeding, other behaviors must be present for a reckless driving charge. This may include any of the following:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Ignoring traffic signs and signals
  • Improper passing or turning
  • Driving in the middle of the road
  • Disregard for pedestrians
  • Disregard for the presence of children

Other actions or conditions may also contribute to a reckless driving charge.

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Florida

If you are stopped by a police officer for reckless driving, you will face a fine of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second offense. While there is no mandatory jail time or license suspension for reckless driving per se, you may face some jail time or license suspension for drunk driving or other serious violations of the law.

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable

Given the dangers posed by speeding and reckless motorists, it’s important to have legal advocates on your side who care about your and your loved ones. Our lawyers will fight for you every step of the way, ensuring your receive the legal assistance you need to cover medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. We will offer sound counsel as your case proceeds and so you and your family can move forward.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

To learn more about your legal rights and options after a collision with a reckless driver, contact the injury and accident lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau. The attorneys at our law firm will fight for you and hold the negligent motorist accountable.

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