Florida has recently signed a new bill, which prohibits most direct-to-consumer vehicle sales. The bill will require automakers to have a franchise agreement in place to sell their vehicles in the state. This will affect electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers such as Tesla, who operate their franchiseless model. However, the bill has certain provisions that will allow Tesla to continue its operations.
The new bill is not the only change in Florida’s driving laws. The state has also expanded its “Move Over” law to include broken down cars on the roadside. The law requires drivers to move into another lane if possible when first responders are on the roadside, including law enforcers and utility trucks. The law also requires drivers to reduce their speed by 20 miles per hour if they cannot move over. If the traffic is heavy and can’t move over, the law states that drivers closest to the roadside vehicle should decrease their speed by 20 miles per hour.
According to AAA, Florida has become the 17th state to require motorists to move over for a broken-down vehicle on the roadside, even when first responders aren’t present. The law has been expanded to prevent unnecessary deaths on the roadside. An average of nearly 350 people per year were struck and killed while outside a disabled vehicle on the roadside during a four-year period. Moreover, on average, two emergency responders, including tow truck workers, are struck and killed every month by a driver who fails to obey the law by moving over.
Tesla, Ford, and Cadillac are planning to sell their upcoming EV models online, which could make the bill an “anti-EV” bill. However, the bill only applies to automakers who have a franchise agreement in place. The dealerships are no longer needed in the industry and should be phased out by the free market, not propped up by bills like this.
In conclusion, Florida’s new bill has certain provisions that allow Tesla to continue its operations, but it will affect other automakers who operate their franchiseless model. The state’s expanded “Move Over” law aims to prevent unnecessary deaths on the roadside by requiring drivers to move over or reduce their speed when passing a broken-down vehicle on the roadside. The bill may be seen as an “anti-EV” bill, but it only applies to automakers who have a franchise agreement in place.
0. “Florida ‘Move Over’ law expanded: drivers will soon have to move over for stalled vehicles” NBC 6 South Florida, 14 Jun. 2023, https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/florida-move-over-law-expanded-drivers-will-soon-have-to-move-over-for-stalled-vehicles/3053972
1. “Gov. DeSantis signs car dealership protection bill banning most direct-to-consumer auto sales” Florida Politics, 13 Jun. 2023, https://floridapolitics.com/archives/618230-gov-desantis-signs-car-dealership-protection-bill-banning-most-direct-to-consumer-auto-sales/