Is it illegal to park on the roadway in Florida?
What about in areas designated for loading and unloading?
What penalties will I face if I park illegally in the state?
We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.
Today, you’ll learn everything you should know about the Florida parking laws. This way, you know where you can and cannot park.
Plus, we’ll also give you parking tips on public roads and hills.
So are you ready?
Let’s dive right in!
Parking Laws in Florida
Unlike some states, Florida doesn’t have a lengthy list of parking laws. The only laws that the state has passed revolve around stopping, standing, or parking in specified places.
In Florida, you are not allowed to stop, stand, or park your vehicle in the following areas:
- On the roadway opposite a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street. You cannot double park.
- On a sidewalk
- Within an intersection
- On a crosswalk
- Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of a curb
- Alongside or opposite any street excavation or construction
- On any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel
- On any railroad tracks
- On a bicycle path
- Any place where official traffic control devices prohibit stopping
- On the roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility
- On a paved roadway, shoulder of a limited access facility, or pavement portion of any connecting ramp.
- On a disabled parking slot, unless you or your passenger has a disabled permit
- On highways outside of municipalities
Moreover, by law, you are NOT allowed to move a vehicle that isn’t yours to or from a prohibited parking area.
All that said, you can stop, stand, or park during emergencies, when a police officer asks you to stop, or if you can avoid conflict in traffic.
There are other cases where you are allowed to stop, stand, or park in the following areas:
- On the roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility if the vehicle you’re riding experiences a mechanical failure. Parking is only limited to 6 hours.
- On the roadway when someone has asked you to stop so that he/she can help a disabled person.
Here’s another law about parking in Florida.
When you park, it is required by law to bring your keys with you. You are not allowed to leave your keys in the car.
Parking Law Penalties in Florida
Stopping, standing, or parking on highways outside of municipalities will be considered a moving violation.
For this, you will be fined $60. This fine has to be paid within 30 days or contested in court.
To add to that, you also get 3 points on your driving record.
The penalties become even harsher if you park in a disabled parking space without a permit. You will pay a high fee of $250 to $500. You might even face jail time.
On the other hand, if you stop, stand, or park in the other prohibited areas, this will be considered a non-moving violation. No points will be added to your record. The catch is that you have to pay a fine of $30.
Safe Parking Tips
Did you know that there is a proper way to park on roadways?
The same goes for parking on a hill.
In this section, we’re going to give you safe parking tips in the areas we just mentioned. This way, you know what to do.
Parking on public roads
When parking on a public road, your goal is to move as far away as possible from the traffic. So the closer you are to the side of the road, the better.
Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Park not farther than 12 inches from the curb
- Park parallel to the curb following the direction of the side of traffic you are on
- Always park by the right side of the road unless it is a one-way street. If it’s the latter, park following the direction stated on the road
- For automatic transmissions, set your gear to ‘Park’ and turn off your engine when leaving your car
- For manual transmissions, set your gear to ‘Reverse’ and turn off your engine
- Never leave your keys inside the car regardless of where you park (this is required by law)
In most cases, if you’re parking by the side of the road, then you’re going to parallel park. When parallel parking, follow these tips:
- Always align your side mirror to the side mirror of the car at the back or front
- Keep a door’s length’s distance from the car at the back or in front
- Reverse slowly and avoid pressing the accelerator too hard
Parking on a hill
Parking on hills is a different scenario and requires a different set of skills. Unlike parking on regular roadways, you need to take into account whether you are parking downhill or uphill.
For example, if you’re parking on a downhill road, your front tires should be tilted towards the curb. This way, if your car accelerates, it hits the curb rather than the oncoming traffic.
If you’re parking on an uphill road with no curbs, tilt the tires towards the side of the road.
However, if you’re parking on an uphill road where there is a curb, tilt your tires to the opposite side of the curb. So if the curb is to the right, your front tires should be turned in the opposite direction.
That was everything you should know about the Florida parking laws.
By now, you already know that you can’t just park anywhere. There are certain places for it and certain places that prohibit it.
And yes, parking in illegal areas will inflict penalties.
That said, you are only allowed to park, stop, or stand in these prohibited places in case of emergencies or if a traffic enforcer has asked you to do so.
So regardless of where you’re parking, make sure that it’s allowed, you follow the right way to park, and you don’t leave your keys behind.