What does Florida law say about ‘turn right, stay right’?

Trooper Steve answers questions about traffic laws

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

Trooper Steve on Thursday was asked, “Is it still law when making a turn to keep in the furthest left or furthest right lane?”

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This is a topic that is the cause of a lot of crashes and, in many cases, frustration between drivers, Trooper Steve said.

“When you are traveling you are supposed to stay in your travel lane,” he said. “The same thing would apply to a turn lane while you’re completing the move.”

Often, drivers make wide turns, leading to an improper maneuver.

“When a driver is in the far right turning lane and attempting to make a turn and ends up in the far left travel lane of their new direction, this is an improper right turn,” Trooper Steve said.

Florida law states that a driver of a vehicle, intending to turn right at an intersection onto a highway, public or private roadway or driveway, must make both the approach for a right turn and a right turn as close as practical to the righthand curb or edge of the roadway.

For left turns, Florida law states that the driver and vehicle intending to turn left at an intersection onto a highway, public or private roadway or driveway, must approach the intersection in the extreme lefthand lane lawfully available to traffic, moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle and must make the left turn so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such a direction upon the roadway being entered. 


“The wording of Florida laws can be rather confusing, but when it comes to the verbiage of this statute, it’s pretty clear,” Trooper Steve said. “Even when drivers make a left turn -- we so often see them make that left turn and cut over while conducting their movement -- it would be improper to go into another lane.”

This is notable for a lot of drivers when there are multiple turn lanes.

“If you had two right turn lanes and a driver in the leftmost right turn lane failed to maintain their lane while conducting that right turn, a crash would occur,” he said. “The same would occur if a driver was in the far right turn lane.”

Maintaining your lane, especially during a change of direction, is extremely important and required by law.

Florida Statute 316.151 spells out all the requirements drivers are to adhere to when making a turn.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, 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.