Is it really against the law to take shortcuts to avoid traffic lights?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

The most recent question Trooper Steve addressed was, “Can I cut through a private parking lot to avoid sitting at a traffic light?”

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“No matter what part of town you live in or what part of town you work in, there’s a chance that you will be delayed to some degree by traffic,” Trooper Steve said. “But as I tell you this, I’m not addressing anyone specifically -- I am addressing everyone.”

You may have witnessed someone going through a parking lot to avoid a traffic light.

“But think about what you are doing if you are guilty of this,” he said. “You’re now cutting through an area that is not designed for through-traffic so you don’t have to wait a few extra seconds or minutes for a traffic control device.”

[VIDEO BELOW: Trooper Steve takes on driver whose foot was hanging out window]

Florida Statute 316.074 addresses this type of behavior.

“No one is saying that you’re doing this to be malicious, but you are contributing to other types of traffic,” Trooper Steve said. “Taking this kind of shortcut constitutes a moving violation and does come with three points onto your driver’s license.”

A couple hundred dollars and points on your license is not worth a few extra minutes of your time, Trooper Steve added.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.