C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

A new program called Operation Toll Relief will give Miami-Dade County residents a chance to negotiate down fines from unpaid tolls.

The program is a partnership of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade court system.

"The program does not excuse toll violators," says Judge Sam Slom, the chief administrative judge over county court. "What the program seeks to do is to adjust the amount due for those violations to an amount which we perceive to be fair."

Kenny Malone

(Take this quiz based off of driving instructor Chris Pearson's own tricks and advice as well as Florida's state driving manual.)

"I-95 driving is not for the timid or the meek," driving instructor Chris Pearson says. The former cop says new drivers are so scared of I-95 that he has essentially made it his final exam. Or maybe more accurately his final pop quiz.

Jeffery Katz / Florida Department of Transportation

“Lexus lanes” may have been too cheap for Miami. This past Saturday morning, South Florida drivers traded in for “Lamborghini lanes.”

The maximum possible toll on the 95 Express lanes increased from $7.00 to $10.50 — the mininum has doubled to 50 cents — in response to record numbers of motorists forking over what was thought to be a discouragingly high amount of money.

“That day you paid seven bucks, we were trying to get you not to go there,” said Rory Santana, who oversees Miami-Dade County’s stretch of 95 Express for the Florida Department of Transportation.

How Madonna Shaped My Romance With I-95

Feb 23, 2014
Clark Perks

In 1990, when we were both 22 years old, my friend Clark and I drove from New Jersey to the Canadian border, bought a box of donuts, turned the car around, and drove the entire length of the southbound Interstate 95 non-stop, as quickly as possible. It was what we called a “high-velocity vacation."

For reasons unclear we decided to only listen to one song the entire way: Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.” We had the cassingle.

Gregory Castillo / Miami Herald

The U.S. Census 2006-2010 American Communities Survey says the most popular commute is, by far, from Broward to Miami-Dade County. It estimates 125,000 make that drive to work every day.

For nearly an hour and a half, Broward-to-Dade commuters sit on Interstate 95's crowded lanes, some investing in express-lane tolls while others face the red-eyed inertia of cars ahead.

One commuter says of her peers' brake lights: “Look at them. Red little demon eyes stopping you in your tracks. Interfering with your making a living."

Xemenendura / Wikimedia Commons

Life in the fast lane is more popular, more expensive and more congested than ever.

The Florida Department of Transportation says entry into the 95 Express lanes ranges from $0.25 to a $7.00 maximum, meaning drivers can only be charged up to that amount depending on how many tolls they pass on one trip. The system’s "dynamic tolling" increases prices as the lanes get more congested. By driving up prices, traffic is driven back into the general-purpose lanes, easing congestion on the express lanes.


Florida drivers are required to carry proof of insurance.

Those who are pulled over in Miami-Dade County and can’t show proof of coverage will get a $129 ticket. (It drops to $10 if proof is provided with 30 days that the driver had insurance at the time of the citation.)

Creative Commons Via Flickr user Steven Damron

As Florida's texting while driving ban goes into effect, local police officers are still figuring out the best way to enforce the new law.

"This is something new to all of us," said Freddy Cruz, a sergeant with the City of Miami Police Department. "This is going to be quite a challenge, but from an educational standpoint, we have to educate the public on the dangers [of texting while driving].

Creative Commons via Wikipedia User Ed Brown

Florida's new law banning texting while driving went into effect on October 1.

Governor Rick Scott signed SB 52 into law back in May, making Florida the 41st state to ban texting while driving. To some, though, the law does not go far enough.

The brunt of the new law is meant to deter drivers from sending or reading text messages. But it bans pretty much anything that requires "manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters." So no emailing, searching the Internet, or dialing a phone number.

Florida's New Texting While Driving Ban Takes Effect Oct. 1

Sep 30, 2013

It's official. No more texting and driving in the state of Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott was in South Florida on Tuesday to sign SB 52, legislation championed by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) for the last four years. 

Under the new law, Florida will join a large majority of states in prohibiting texting while driving. As a secondary offense, however, drivers must be stopped for a separate alleged traffic violation before being ticketed for texting while driving.