DONE - Florida TLSAE Course Module - Safe parking and passing

Safe parking and passing

Parking and passing require coordination of many different driving skills combined with a continuous searching process.

There are three types of parking maneuvers.

Angled - when the parking space is at an angle or on a diagonal to the curb.

Perpendicular - when the parking space is perpendicular to the curb, or at a 90-degree angle.

Parallel - when the parking space is parallel to the curb or hugs the edge of the curb.

The decision to pass another vehicle requires good judgment. Often, passing really does not accomplish much. Decide if the pass is legal, possible, worth the risk, and if there is adequate space to pass.

Whenever you are passing or another vehicle is passing you, safety is particularly important to avoid collisions.

Learning Objectives

This module addresses the elements necessary for safe parking and passing. The topics that will be covered include:

  1. Parking
  2. Disabled Parking
  3. Passing Laws
  4. Safe Passing
  5. Safety When Being Passed

1. Parking: Is it illegal to park? Where could you legally park in the state of Florida?

Practice parking in all of the different types of parking spaces in a no-traffic environment before you attempt parking maneuvers with other vehicles present.

Before parking, make sure it is legal to park in the location you have selected. Become familiar with where you are not allowed to park. You cannot park:
  • On the roadway side of another parked vehicle (double parking)
  • In crosswalks
  • On sidewalks
  • In front of driveways
  • By curbs painted yellow or where "No Parking" signs are posted
  • Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic.
  • At any place where official signs prohibit parking.
  • Within intersections
  • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
  • Within 20 feet of an intersection
  • Within 20 feet of the entrance to a fire, ambulance, or rescue squad station
  • Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing
  • On the hard surface of a highway where parking spaces are not marked
  • On any bridge or overpass or in any tunnel
  • At any place where official traffic control devices prohibit stopping.
  • Within 30 feet of a rural mailbox on a state highway between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Within 30 feet of any flashing signal, stop sign, or traffic signal
  • In a location where you block or create a hazard for other vehicles (FS 316.1945)
  • For the purpose of loading or unloading a passenger on the paved roadway or shoulder of a limited access facility or on the paved portion of any connecting ramp. This provision is not applicable to a person stopping a vehicle to render aid to an injured person or assistance to a disabled vehicle.
  • Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless the Department of Transportation indicates a different length by signs or markings.
Before selecting your parking space, make sure there is plenty of room to maneuver in and out. Try not to park next to large vehicles or vehicles that are too close to the white space markings.

Whenever possible, park where there are no vehicles on either side of your space until you are comfortable with parking maneuvers.

When you are parking on a public road, park as far away from traffic as you possibly can. If there is a roadside shoulder, pull as far onto it as you can. If there is a curb, pull close to it; do not park more than one foot away from the curb.

Always park on the right side of the roadway unless it is a one-way street.

While parking, conduct a continuous search and be aware of the entire driving environment that surrounds you. Conduct the maneuvers slowly. When properly parked, your vehicle should be centered inside the space with no part of the vehicle extending out into the traffic lane.

Always set your parking brake before exiting the parked vehicle. Set the parking brake and shift to park if you have an automatic transmission or reverse if your vehicle has a manual transmission. Turn off the engine, lock the vehicle, and exit with caution.

Florida law requires that you must take the keys out of your vehicle before leaving it. Always check the traffic behind you before getting out, or get out on the curb side.

Before you leave any parked position, look over your shoulder to the rear to make sure the way is clear. Make sure to give the proper turn signal when leaving a curb and yield to other traffic.

Angled Parking

Angled parking places are on a diagonal from the traffic flow. Angled parking is fairly easy.

Entering an Angled Parking Space

When you approach an empty parking space, signal your intentions by activating your turn signal and brake lights. Position the side of your vehicle about five feet from the rear of the parked vehicles. When you can see down the side of the parking space line closest to your vehicle, turn your wheels and slowly enter the space. Continuously check your clearance on the left-front and the right-rear as you slowly enter the space. Keep track of your right rear bumper and be sure you have enough room to clear the vehicle on your right. While you are still moving, center your vehicle and straighten out the wheels.

Exiting an Angled Parking Space

Place your foot on the brake. Release the parking brake and shift gears to REVERSE. Position your body so you can see over your right shoulder while you continuously search for obstacles, pedestrians, and oncoming traffic. When the area behind you is clear and there is a large gap in the traffic lane behind you, slowly back up straight. As you back up, watch where you are going, keep your wheels straight, and continue searching to all sides. Be prepared to brake for traffic moving in your path.

When your vehicle has been backed completely out of the space, or when the front of your vehicle passes the rear bumper of the vehicle to the left, turn the steering wheel to the right and smoothly guide the rear of your vehicle into the traffic lane with your eyes to the rear.

Brake to a stop as you straighten your wheels. With your foot still on the brake, shift into DRIVE. Slowly accelerate to the speed of traffic and re-check traffic to the rear.

Always give the right-of-way to traffic that is already moving in the lane you are trying to enter. Watch for clues that other vehicles are also exiting their spaces.

Perpendicular Parking

Perpendicular parking spaces require turning at a 90-degree angle, so allow yourself plenty of room by waiting to turn until you can see all the way down the stall line.

Entering a Perpendicular Parking Space

Signal your intention as you approach the space. Position your vehicle so you will have plenty of space to turn in. Approach the empty space between the side of your vehicle and the rear of the vehicles already parked. Enter the space slowly and steer your vehicle to the center of the space. Check the back and sides to be sure you are not about to hit the side of another vehicle.

Straighten your wheels and stop when the front of your vehicle is parallel with the front of other vehicles in the lot.

Exiting a Perpendicular Parking Space

Exit the perpendicular parking space using the same procedure as you use exiting an angled parking space.

Parallel Parking

Occasionally you will need to park in a parallel parking space. Many drivers dread this maneuver, but it becomes easy with practice. Many states require a demonstration of this procedure on the driving exam.

Locate a space large enough for this maneuver by identifying a space that is at least one and a half times the length of your vehicle. The space needs to be large enough for you to have a few feet in front and behind your vehicle. This is the space you will use to maneuver in and out of the parking space. Do not begin the maneuver until you are sure the space is large enough.

Entering a Parallel Parking Space

Check traffic to the front and to the rear. Signal your intentions to park by tapping on the brakes and activating your right turn signal. Position the right side of your vehicle parallel to the parked vehicles on the right with about three feet of space between you and the parked vehicles. Stop beside the vehicle parked in front of the space you want to enter.

Back up and turn the steering wheel sharply to the right. Look to the rear. Never try to use your mirrors to see behind you when parallel parking.

Back up very slowly until the center door post of your vehicle is lined up with the back left corner of the vehicle on your right. Straighten your wheels and back slowly down until the right front corner of your vehicle is in line with the left rear corner of the vehicle on your right.

As you stop, turn your steering wheel to the left as far as it will go. Stop about two feet from the vehicle behind you. With your foot still on the brake, change gears into DRIVE. Slowly move forward until your vehicle has equal space between the vehicle in front of you and behind you.

Exiting a Parallel Parking Space

Place your foot on the brake, start the engine, signal your intentions, and shift to REVERSE. Check the traffic to the back and in the lane you are about to enter. Check your blind spot. Back slowly until you are within inches of the vehicle behind you.

With your foot still on the brake, place your vehicle into DRIVE. Turn the steering wheel sharply toward the lane you are entering. Slowly release the brake and move forward into the lane. When the front bumper of your vehicle clears the rear of the vehicle occupying the parking space in front of you, straighten your wheels and continue moving forward slowly. Turn your steering wheel gradually in the direction of your path of travel.

Parking on Hills

If you are forced to park on a hill:

Turn your wheels so that if your car starts to move by itself, it will roll away from traffic or into the curb (wheels turned into curb).

Set the parking brake.

If you are driving with an automatic transmission, shift into park. If you are driving with a standard transmission, shift into reverse (facing downhill) or first gear (facing uphill).

Parking Lights

Your parking lights must be used at night on any vehicle parked on a roadway or shoulder outside of cities and towns. If you drive with parking lights only (in place of headlights) you are breaking the law.

2. Parking Privileges for the Disabled

If you are disabled, you do not have to pay parking fees on any public street, highway, or metered space. Your vehicle must display a valid parking placard which is visible from the front and rear of the vehicle. Each side of the placard must have the international symbol of accessibility in a contrasting color in the center. These placards may be obtained from a tag agent or tax collector's office and must be renewed every four years.

Disabled persons must park in spaces reserved for the disabled whenever possible. These spaces are marked by the wheelchair symbol and "Parking by Disabled Permit Only" signs. Vehicles illegally parked in spaces reserved for the handicapped will be ticketed and may be towed.

To prove you are eligible for a placard you are required to have a Proof of Eligibility in the form of a statement from a physician licensed in the United States, the Division of Blind Services of the Department of Education, or the Veterans Administration. You must be severely physically disabled with permanent mobility problems which substantially impair your ability to move or you are certified as legally blind.

The correct procedure that you must follow includes contacting your local county tax collector or tag agent. You must complete Highway Safety Motor Vehicle form number 83039 which is the Application for a disabled person’s parking permit. You must provide proof of eligibility, the Doctor’s Statement, and pay $15.00 for a temporary disabled person parking permit. You must also present a valid Florida driver license or identification card (FS 316.955).

3. Passing Laws

Passing and Being Passed

Proper passing involves the use of good judgment, courtesy, and the ability to make rapid decisions. When you are passing or being passed, remember to plan an escape route in case you need to avoid a collision. Before entering a passing lane, be sure to check for good road traction to ensure that you will not lose control of your vehicle during the passing maneuver. Remain alert and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the other vehicles on the road.

Because of the high speeds of travel on freeways and interstates, be extra careful when passing. Stay to the right unless you are passing another vehicle or preparing to make a turn. Passing involves the use of your signals, mirrors, and physically turning your head to check your blind spots. If multiple lane changes are needed, they must be done individually, going through the same procedures for each lane change.

When traveling on a two-lane roadway, remain on the right side of the roadway unless you are passing. Then, pass only when you have enough room to return to the right side of the roadway and when your field of vision is clear.

Passing is Prohibited

Passing is illegal when sight restrictions such as hills or curves make passing unsafe. If it is unsafe to pass on a section of highway, it will be marked as a no-passing zone by signs or markings on the roadway.

Before beginning a passing maneuver on a highway with opposing traffic, you must be sure you have proper clearance. The law states that you must be able to return to your proper lane of travel before any approaching vehicle comes within 200 feet.

Remember, the law in Florida states that passing is prohibited when the view is obstructed or when approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel - or when approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any railroad grade crossing (FS 316.087).

The pattern of yellow lines on the roadway determines whether passing is permitted. For example, two solid yellow lines on the roadway mean that passing is prohibited. A combination of a solid yellow and a broken yellow line means that you can pass only on the side that has the broken yellow line. If a single broken yellow line is present, either lane of traffic may pass when it is safe to do so.

4. Safe Passing

Often, passing does not accomplish very much. It simply places you one vehicle ahead of where you originally were, and the time you save is negligible. Before passing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the pass legal?
  • Is the pass possible?
  • Is the pass worth the risk?
  • Do I have sufficient space to pass?
Then, if you decide the maneuver is still a safe decision, follow these steps to successfully pass:
  • Check ahead for a clear, safe passing space. This is critical. Keep in mind the time element necessary to accomplish a safe pass. Florida laws require that you be able to get back to your authorized lane of travel before coming within 200 feet of oncoming traffic. If you are going 55 mph, you will need over 1600 feet to safely pass another vehicle.
  • Make sure to look for hazards such as oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, vehicles approaching from the rear, or merging vehicles.
  • Check your blind spots by turning your head to make sure no vehicles are in your blind spots. Also check your rear-view and side-view mirrors for vehicles behind you or to your side.
  • Communicate your intent to pass by signaling other drivers or, if necessary, by flashing your headlights or tapping your horn.
  • Only pass if you can do it without exceeding the speed limit. Don’t linger in the other vehicle’s blind spots.
  • Re-check conditions ahead and create a return space for your vehicle, making sure you can see the vehicle you just passed and you are allowing enough clearance.
  • Signal your return into the lane, check your blind spots, and resume normal driving.

5. Safety When Being Passed

If another vehicle is trying to pass your vehicle, reduce your speed to allow the passing vehicle to complete the maneuver safely.

Florida law prohibits you from increasing your speed until the vehicle that is passing you has completed the passing maneuver.

It is also a good idea to position your vehicle in the far side of your lane, allowing the vehicle that is passing you greater visibility.

Finally, tap your brakes as a warning to vehicles behind you if you see a hazard ahead.


Angle parking is simply defined as parking the vehicle diagonally to the curb.

It uses less linear curb length per parking space than traditional parallel parking so more spaces can be provided on the same block.
 It has been applied strategically in traditional neighborhood retail collector streets or main streets precisely because it both increases the parking supply and

slows down traffic.

The following are the procedure on how to do this angle parking:
1. Signal and check for traffic
2. Position your vehicle approximately 6 feet from the parked cars and begin slowing down
3. Pull forward until your front right bumper is just past the painted line on the pavement of the space you are parking in
4. Turn the wheel sharply right
5. Enter the space slowly and straighten out the wheels when you are centered in the space
6. Pull forward until your car is in
7. Angle parking begins with your vehicle at least 6 feet away from a row of parked vehicles.

Here are also some performing basic vehicle maneuvers terms and definitions:

1. Angled parking - park the vehicle diagonally to the curb.
2. Parallel parking - parking the vehicle parallel to the curb
3. Oversteer - turning the steering wheel too much
4. Perpendicular parking - parking the vehicle at a right angle to the curb
5. Hand-over-hand steering - pulling the steering wheel down with one hand while the other hand crosses over to pull the wheel further down
6. Push-pull steering - pushing the steering wheel up with one hand and pulling it down with the other.
7. Understeering - not turning the steering wheel enough

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