DONE - Chapter 9. Major Traffic Laws 3 - Part 1

Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course: Chapter 9. Major Traffic Laws - Part Three

This chapter covers the following topics

9.1. Concepts of Speed in Relationship to Schools, Construction Zones, Speed Laws and Conditions
9.2. Additional Considerations and VEHICLE EMERGENCIES
9.3. Defensive Driving

Section 9.1. Concepts of Speed in Relationship to Schools, Construction Zones, Speed Laws and Conditions

It's no coincidence that many of the collisions on the road today are contributed to by excessive speed. Remember the phrase, "speed kills!" When you drive fast, you really limit your chances of escaping a collision. Your reaction time is put to the test when you drive and the faster you go, the less time you have to stop, swerve, or avoid oncoming cars.

The experts who determine the safe speed limits on the road do not just pull numbers out of thin air. Before a speed sign is posted, research is done by traffic safety engineers as to the safest maximum speed on that road under normal conditions. Anytime you exceed that speed, you are not being safe, even if you think you are. Take our advice: Listen to the experts!

It's important to be aware of all of your surroundings, at all times, while you're operating any vehicle. You must identify and obey all posted speeds, and at the same time, identify any potential hazards and reduce your speed appropriately to avoid any hazards on the road, even if it means driving below the posted speed limit. When you're approaching an intersection, which is where many collisions occur, reduce your speed, observe the scene carefully, and then proceed with caution. The same is true when approaching a railroad crossing, the crest of a hill, a bridge or an incline. Just because the sign says 55 mph or 65 mph doesn't mean you have to drive at that speed.

How much time do you think you save by speeding? What you should realize is you don't actually lose that much time by slowing down, and you might even save your life or save the life of someone else. There are so many excuses people give for speeding. So many people feel they received a ticket and absolutely didn't deserve it. But these drivers were not driving defensively; they were breaking the law and putting themselves, their passengers, and other road users at risk.

The most common traffic violation is speeding. Some drivers think they have to get to their destination faster than everybody else. But when they get a ticket, they lose both time and money!

Follow the "Basic Speed Rule." The basic speed rule simply states, "Do not go faster than is safe for conditions."

You can be ticketed for driving too fast for conditions, and besides, slowing down for certain conditions is the safest way to drive. What does this mean? When you're driving on a road with a posted speed limit of 40 mph, that's the safest maximum speed you're allowed to drive during normal road conditions. What if conditions are not normal; for example, what if it begins to rain? It is not safe to drive 40 mph, because the road will be slippery from the mixture of oil, dust and dirt and the rainwater. Conditions dictate the speed that you should drive, regardless of what the speed limit may be.

The basic speed rule also applies on the highway. What if you just left a football stadium and there are 10,000 vehicles on the road in front of you; is it okay to drive 55 mph? Of course not! You have all those vehicles in front of you and it wouldn't be safe.

Why People Speed

The main reason people speed is that they perceive they are saving time. They think they're going to get to their destination quicker if they go faster than everybody else on the road. The following are two studies conducted on speeding. You will find the results of the studies very interesting.


This study looks at two cars traveling the same distance at different speeds on city streets.

Car "A" went 35 mph.

Car "B" went 45 mph.

Both cars traveled a distance of 10 miles.

How much sooner did Car "B" arrive at their destination then Car "A"?

Five minutes? Eight minutes? Ten minutes?

The answer is 90 seconds; a minute and a half. The perception is that Car "B" would arrive at their destination much sooner than Car "A", but it won't. Traffic lights on city streets are synchronized with the speed limit, usually by computers. If the sign says 35 mph is the speed limit, that's the speed traffic should flow. If you go exactly 35 mph, you will catch all of the green lights.

Some people think if they go 70 mph in a 35 mph speed zone that would get them there faster. If they don't get a ticket or get into a crash, they might arrive sooner, but it is not worth the risk. The consequences could be devastating. The driver should just leave a few minutes early and drive at a safe speed.

If you think you're a great driver, weaving in and out of traffic, thinking only of yourself, you're putting everyone else at risk. Me, me, me... not using your turn signals, me, me, me...thinking that you're getting there so much faster ...but you're not. You're just making everybody else mad and driving in an unsafe manner.


This study is similar to number one, but the cars are traveling a greater distance and at a faster rate of speed because they are on the highway.

Car "A" went 65 mph.

Car "B" went 55 mph.

Both cars traveled a distance of 1,000 miles.

How much sooner did Car "A" arrive at their destination than Car "B"?

On the average Car "A" arrived 31 minutes sooner than Car "B." Again, the perception is that Car A will arrive much sooner than Car "B," but that isn't the case. Each time Car "A" had to reduce speed because of traffic or to get extra gas (cars burn more gas when they travel at higher rates of speed), Car "B" would catch up.

Think about the last time you took a long road trip. Do you remember seeing the same cars over and over again? You remember that little red car with the couple in it that went speeding past you. They seem to keep reappearing. You keep seeing the little red car don't you? You look out your window, and there is that couple in the little red car again.

The following is a chart illustrating the time saved over a 10-mile trip on the highway.

10 MIN. 55 SEC
60 10 MIN. 00 SEC 55 SEC.
65 09 MIN. 4 SEC. 1 MIN. 41 SEC.
70 08 MIN 34 SEC. 2 MIN. 21 SEC.

It really doesn't do you any good to speed, so slow down and leave a little bit earlier. You'll be much more relaxed and you'll get there at the same time anyway.

Remember, it's important to be aware of all of your surroundings, both inside and outside the vehicle. If your mind, eyes, or hands are elsewhere, you're not giving your full attention to driving. If you're not paying attention to the speed limits, and not bothering to look at your speedometer, you're going to get a speeding ticket sooner or later. Do you know that when most people get a speeding ticket they say, "It didn't feel like I was going that fast." They may not have meant to speed, but they weren't paying attention.

Do you know you have a device inside your car called a speedometer that tells you exactly how fast you're going? Some people completely ignore it, and virtually everything else around them depending on how they feel while they're driving.


  • The maximum speed limit on the highways in Florida is 55 mph unless otherwise posted.
  • Speed limits are 70 mph on some rural interstate highways. When the posted speed limit is 70 MPH, the minimum speed limit is 50 MPH.
  • Never assume that just because an area appears to be rural, the limit is 70 mph.
  • Speed limits on multi-lane highways are not always the same. Watch for signs.
  • In business or residential districts, the speed limit is 30 mph unless otherwise posted.
  • Slow down when approaching a railroad track, a curve, a hill crest, a bridge or an overpass.
  • In a school zone, during the posted time periods, the speed limit is 15 mph unless otherwise marked.
  • Always obey traffic signs and signals.
  • School zone speed limits are enforced 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after children arrive at or leave regularly scheduled school sessions or breakfast programs.
  • On Interstate and Defense Highways, with at least four lanes, the minimum speed limit is 40 MPH unless otherwise posted.

Street Racing

Florida is getting tough on street racing (aka drag racing). Effective October 1st, 2005 drivers who race on the highway can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. Drivers caught racing could face a year in jail; repeat offenders could be required to forfeit their vehicles.



Children require a safe environment in which to travel to and from school. Normal speed limits do not allow traffic enough time to stop suddenly if children step out into the road. Children often behave unpredictably, so obey the posted speed limit of 15 or 20 mph and watch for them.

It's the same with construction zones. Workers are often working on the roadway using heavy equipment close to traffic. Not to mention other hazards such as: dirt being stirred up, oil and diesel fuel on the road, sinkholes and concrete barricades. The workers are concentrating on their jobs and not on the vehicles going by. So it's important in construction zones that you obey the warning signs and speed limits and slow down to avoid endangering the construction worker.

Whenever you are not sure about your surroundings or what the actual speed limit is, SLOW DOWN until you're more certain of the speed limit or how well you can handle the situation!

There are two basic reasons why people violate traffic laws. They're either not paying attention, or they're in a hurry. Sometimes, it's a combination of the two. But remember, if you get caught, you're going to spend much more time with the law enforcement officer than you'll save by speeding. Even worse, what if you get into a collision? You'll definitely lose more time than you would save. The same is true for other violations like running a stop sign or a red light, or not using your turn signal, all in the interest of some perceived time saving - it's really just not worth it.


Here's a story about a race car driver attending race car driving school. On his first day the instructors say, "You're going out on the race course to drive a car 160 miles per hour. There are four lanes on the course, each with a red and a green light. When you start all the lights will be red until you reach 160 mph; then one of the lights will turn green. When the light turns green, immediately get into that lane. The rest of the lanes will remain red." The driver always thought it was fun and exciting to drive fast. But he didn't think it was much fun after he learned more about driving. He was afraid. He didn't even blink at 160 mph because he knew that if he did, he might crash. He didn't want to change lanes at 160 mph when the light turned green. At first he couldn't do it, because he was too scared.

After a while, he built up his courage and tried it. Before he knew it, everybody in the school could change lanes at 160 mph. Now the instructors put him back in the classroom and said, "We want you to go 160 mph again, and stop the race car. Hit the brakes as hard as you can and stop the car." At 40 mph, it takes about half a football field (150 feet) to stop, and almost a full football field (300 feet) to stop at 55 mph. Can you imagine 160 mph? The race car driver felt like he was never going to stop.

The vehicle began to skid. It takes about two football fields (600 feet) before a car traveling at 160 mph begins to slow down. Again the driver returned to the classroom, where the instructors said, "Here's what you just learned. If you're in the Indianapolis 500 going 160 mph, and the car in front of you crashes, it's not going to help if you slam on the brakes!" That's why the instructors were teaching the race car driver to move to the lane with the green light, the open lane.

Think about the last time you saw a wreck at the Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500. Nobody slams on the brakes. Our first reaction when we see a collision in front of us is to slam on the brakes, but unfortunately, slamming on the brakes will only make you skid all over the road. Remember, you to move to the open lane and go around the crash.

If you're driving and there is a truck in front of you and it drops a big cinder block off the back onto the highway, don't slam on the brakes. You're not going to stop. You're going to hit that cinder block. Try to move to the open lane.

What if the truck stops suddenly and you don't realize it because you weren't paying attention? You won't stop. When you're driving on a city street, open roadway, or highway, always say, "I must leave an out." Look for the open lane.

You must keep track of your possible escape routes constantly in case the worst happens. If a car pulls up on the left side of your vehicle, you can say, "I can go right, I can go right if they pull into my lane." If you can't go left or right, slow down or speed up to get away from that situation. Always leave a lane open. One day this is going to happen: A truck is going to drop something on the road, you're going to go right around it smooth as silk.

At 60 miles per hour, the force you produce is four times greater than at 30 miles per hour. Consider how much roadway you need to stop your car at different speeds. At 25 miles per hour, it takes you about 62 feet to stop a car. At 35 miles per hour, it takes almost twice as long to stop the car, and at 65 miles per hour, it takes you a whopping 306 feet to stop that car. That's about the length of a full football field.

Remember, at 55 miles an hour it takes you 228 feet to stop the car.

Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course:

Florida TLSAE/Drug & Alcohol 4 hour Course Online

Who is required to take this 4-hour drug and alcohol course?

This is a first-time drivers ed course for new aspiring drivers. The state of Florida requires all new drivers take a 4-hour drug and alcohol course. If you want your Permit License you must take this course. You can take the DATA course when you are 14 1/2. You can sign up right now at our website. Our course is easy and fun!
  •     Florida 4 hour first-time drivers course also referred as:
  •     TLSAE - Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education
  •     DATA - Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness course
  •     DATE Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness Education course
  •     ADAPT - Alcohol Drugs Accident Prevention Training
  •     Drug & Alcohol Course or Drug and Alcohol Class
  •     Florida Permit Test or Florida Permit Exam Course
  •     The Permit Test is also known as the DMV Exam or DMV Test
Florida first time driver course required to get a Florida drivers license. Florida first time driver courses teach drivers how drugs and alcohol affect driving,. In that situation you have to go home, make a new appointment and return the DMV. Every new driver is required to take a Florida TLSAE course.

Enroll your Florida 4 hour drug and alcohol course online and meet your learner's permit requirement.

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