Every day, drivers illegally try to get where they’re going faster. They don’t do it by speeding, though. They use maneuvers known, informally, as “blocking the box” and “faking a turn.”
The Sarasota Police Department recently posted a plea on its Facebook page, demonstrating what it means to “block the box.”
The box is the center of a signaled intersection. When drivers continue through an intersection, despite a backup in traffic ahead, they block the box, preventing the flow of traffic and forcing pedestrians, cyclists, and those who use wheelchairs to go in between or behind vehicles.
It’s not just rude it’s illegal. Blocking an intersection or crosswalk can result in a $166 citation.
“Fake turners” avoid backups by getting into a designated turn lane, then dipping into the straight lane when they can. As a result, traffic attempting to turn is blocked.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy can ticket a driver for “Failure to Use Designated Lanes,” which is Florida Statue #316.089, Subsection 3. It comes with a $163 fine.
So why aren’t more drivers ticketed for blocking the box or faking a turn? HCSO explains enforcement is difficult, because a lawyer could always make the claim in court that their client simply got in the wrong lane by accident and was trying to get back in the correct lane. That excuse is made, HCSO says, by drivers accused of fake right and left turns.
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