If you are coming to Florida, you should know the local traffic laws, and bring your international driver’s license. Here, the laws are a little bit different and you will be surprised to see people stop suddenly or cross the red light. Crazy, right?
Miami is just like that, the pedestrian rules in the streets. Cyclist do too, and they have their own lane. But to cross the street, it has to be at the crosswalk. Jaywalking, or running through traffic is dangerous and illegal.
To drive in Florida is wonderful. The state has a large budget for roads, landscaping, and flowers, making the city a pleasure to drive through.
As a tourist, to be able to drive in Miami, one needs to get an international license prior to arriving in the States. The USA government does not provide international licenses. Students can get a permit to drive at age 16, but rental companies will charge an additional fee for anyone below 25.
In Florida, you can talk on the cell phone while driving, but texting is illegal.
The traffic laws are a little bit different than in other countries and it is important to become familiar with the most basic ones. When you see the “STOP” sign, it really means you have to come to a full stop and count to three before starting to drive again. Even if you don’t see anyone around, many times a police car is hiding in the area, ready to catch someone breaking the law. The fines can be steep and for those who live in the US, points can accumulate quickly, leading to the loss of the license.
Another major difference from other countries, is that when the light is red, it is possible to make a turn to the right when there is no other car coming. You can also make a left turn, if both streets are one way. However, you must look for the “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which would void the rules.
Be kind in the traffic, and let another motorist go ahead of you. At a crossroad, whoever arrives first goes first. However, if many people arrive at the same time, the one on the right goes first. Always signal to the other drives that you are letting them go, so everyone knows who should go.
Take into consideration that Miami is a tourist destination. Many people don’t know the rules well, so be prepared for cars to do the unexpected. Also, there is the rainy season, and many elderly drive slow. If you do your part, and everyone contributes a little bit, everyone will have a chance to enjoy the city.
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