It was pouring on my way to work today and sure enough every time it rains, someone has to flip on their hazard lights while they're driving.

People! It's illegal to use hazard lights while your vehicle is moving.

I'm sure the people that do this have the best intentions.. they're probably thinking that they're helping other people realize that it's raining and that they're not really good drivers so beware when you're around them! Driving in the rain is hard enough, but when you have someone in front of you driving like Ms. Daisy with their hazard lights on makes it so much more distracting.

Most of the culprits driving with their hazard lights on are from the northern states where it's more common. But in Florida it's NOT OK to drive with your damn hazards on! If you're one of these people, TURN THEM OFF! You're not helping anyone. In fact, you can cause more harm than good.


This was a story published by the Fort Myers News where they interviewed a FHP Officer about driving with hazards on:

Hazard lights stir debate of driving cultures

It's illegal to use lights while vehicle is moving.
Some drivers in Southwest Florida flip their hazard lights on during rain storms or brush fires.

Their rationale: They can be better seen by other drivers, especially if they're traveling slower than the posted speed limit.

The problem: Driving with hazard lights on is technically illegal in Florida. State troopers say it can do more harm than good.

But according to public records, the little-known statute is rarely enforced in Lee County.

Just eight tickets were written for unlawfully displaying hazard lights from July 23, 2005, to Aug. 23, 2006, according to the clerk of courts. A total of 85 citations were filed under the main statute that includes hazard lights, but many of those were for illegal lights displayed on cars.

According to the statute, only vehicles that are disabled or lawfully stopped can have hazard lights in use.

Florida Highway Patrol Capt. Eddie Johnson, who oversees the Fort Myers district, said his troopers aren't actively enforcing this rule on Interstate 75 and other major roadways. Troopers conduct special details to catch speeders, aggressive drivers and drunk drivers. But they don't actively seek out motorists flashing lights down the road, he said.

"I wouldn't recommend using them," Johnson said. "In a huge rain storms, if you see a set of lights come on, you brake and then the car brakes behind you."

Different driving cultures scattered in Florida make the law potentially confusing, FHP Lt. Doug Dodson said, because some states don't have the same rule in place. In the winter up north, some drivers use hazard lights during heavy snowstorms. Dodson said hazard lights could jeopardize safety for other drivers.

"It depends on the perception of the driver," Dodson said. "It might appear that they are stopped or there's a crash or there's some obstruction in the road. So they might stop, and that might cause a chain reaction."

Ruth Cliffe, 72, of North Fort Myers, said she didn't see anyone driving with flashing lights when it was raining during her recent trip to and from upstate New York.

"I only see it when somebody is going really slow, way under the speed limit," Cliff said. "The only time we used them was when we picked something up that didn't quite fit in the car. We couldn't drive as fast."

Unauthorized flashing lights are considered a nonmoving violation in Florida, punishable with a fine of about $70.

Original story:

The Hazards of Hazard Lights

Anonymous on Sat, 02/12/2011 - 06:27

I drive 50 miles on Interstate 4 in Central FL, five days a week. People constatly turn on their emergency lights during rain storms & become a hazard to drivers around them. My attention tends to be drawn toward those flashing lights, and definitely can hinder my ability to drive safely. But I can understand why the police don't want to make this type of traffic stop to deliver a warning or ticket in torrential rain. Once you're wet, you're wet. So KEEP YOUR HAZARDS OFF unless your car is stopped!

I got one driver to turn off his hazards!

admin on Wed, 09/08/2010 - 08:55

I was driving in the rain over the weekend and sure enough a bunch of people thought it would be a great idea to turn their hazard lights on.   I got a few car lengths in front of the driver with his hazards on and turned mine on and immediately tapped on the breaks and turned my hazards off.  The driver behind me got the hint and turned his hazards off.  But further up the road there were 4 cars in a row with their hazards on.. it looked like Xmas in the rain.   

Agreed! This is the most

Anonymous on Thu, 07/01/2010 - 11:00

Agreed! This is the most annoying thing to see on the roads here in Florida. It only seems to have started in the last 2-3 years; before that I don't recall seeing it that often at all. Definitely never saw this 20 years ago on Florida roads. Turn off the hazards when it is raining!! Please!!!

Drivers with hazzards on

Anonymous on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 21:04

The problem is that it is distracting to other drivers and the other drivers cannot tell where you are going because now your directionals will not work.Everyone knows whens it's raining and everyone knows when it's snowing---Turn off the hazzards!

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