While much of the country is shivering in snowfall, here on South Florida’s west coast it’s all sunshine and warm breezes. The balmy weather in and around Sarasota is like a siren song for winter snowbirds who live in less winter-friendly areas of the country.

That’s one reason that Sarasota is so appealing to the recreational vehicle (RV) community. From covered pickup trucks to large motor homes, RV-ers flock to some of the nation’s most picturesque beachside communities.

Learn the rules of RV-ing

Because an RV is a quasi-home, it’s easy to forget at times that RVs are also subject to all of Florida’s traffic laws and regulations. In addition, motor homes must also comply with specific rules set forth for RV owners.

Because this may be confusing to many south Florida vacationers with RVs, let’s review some common RV traffic regulations:

Lane usage

All RV drivers must remain traveling in the right lane unless they are turning, passing, or entering or exiting a highway. When a highway has at least four lanes, RVs must travel in one of the two farthest right lanes.

Trailer lights

RVs hauling trailers often have misaligned headlights from the weight of the trailer tilting the headlights up into oncoming drivers’ lines of sight, which is illegal. To avoid this, re-check alignment of headlights after attaching the trailer.

Parking violations

RV-ers can run afoul of homeowner association rules and regulations when visiting friends and family. To avoid causing any trouble for your hosts, make sure that you find out first whether overnight parking (or even short daytime parking) of RVs is allowed in their neighborhood community.

Remember, too, that lack of knowledge about a law or regulation typically is not a valid defense to use if you decide to fight the citation in court. That does not mean that there might not be another viable defense that your attorney could pursue that may wind up exonerating you. But just as in any interaction between you and Florida law enforcement personnel, it is always prudent to take the matter seriously and learn all that you can in order to protect your rights and liberty.