321.02 Powers and duties of department, highway patrol.
321.03 Imitations prohibited; penalty.
321.04 Personnel of the highway patrol; rank classifications; probationary status of new patrol officers; subsistence; special assignments.
321.05 Duties, functions, and powers of patrol officers.
321.051 Florida Highway Patrol wrecker operator system; penalties for operation outside of system.
321.065 Traffic accident investigation officers; employment; standards.
321.23 Public records; fees for copies; destruction of obsolete records; photographing records; effect as evidence.
321.24 Members of an auxiliary to Florida Highway Patrol.
321.245 Disposition of certain funds in the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
321.25 Training provided at patrol schools.
321.50 Authorization to use traffic infraction detectors.
321.02 Powers and duties of department, highway patrol.—The director of the Division of Highway Patrol of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall also be the commander of the Florida Highway Patrol. The said department shall set up and promulgate rules and regulations by which the personnel of the Florida Highway Patrol officers shall be examined, employed, trained, located, suspended, reduced in rank, discharged, recruited, paid and pensioned, subject to civil service provisions hereafter set out. The department may enter into contracts or agreements, with or without competitive bidding or procurement, to make available, on a fair, reasonable, nonexclusive, and nondiscriminatory basis, property and other structures under division control for the placement of new facilities by any wireless provider of mobile service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 153(27) or s. 332(d), and any telecommunications company as defined in s. 364.02 when it is determined to be practical and feasible to make such property or other structures available. The department may, without adopting a rule, charge a just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory fee for placement of the facilities, payable annually, based on the fair market value of space used by comparable communications facilities in the state. The department and a wireless provider or telecommunications company may negotiate the reduction or elimination of a fee in consideration of services provided to the division by the wireless provider or the telecommunications company. All such fees collected by the department shall be deposited directly into the State Agency Law Enforcement Radio System Trust Fund, and may be used to construct, maintain, or support the system. The department is further specifically authorized to purchase, sell, trade, rent, lease and maintain all necessary equipment, uniforms, motor vehicles, communication systems, housing facilities, office space, and perform any other acts necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of this chapter. However, all supplies and equipment consisting of single items or in lots shall be purchased under the requirements of s. 287.057. Purchases shall be made by accepting the bid of the lowest responsive bidder, the right being reserved to reject all bids. The department shall prescribe a distinctive uniform and distinctive emblem to be worn by all officers of the Florida Highway Patrol. It shall be unlawful for any other person or persons to wear a similar uniform or emblem, or any part or parts thereof. The department shall also prescribe distinctive colors for use on motor vehicles and motorcycles operated by the Florida Highway Patrol. The prescribed colors shall be referred to as “Florida Highway Patrol black and tan.”
History.—s. 3, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(617); s. 3, ch. 20451, 1941; s. 1, ch. 29756, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-754; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 27, ch. 90-268; s. 3, ch. 96-357; s. 123, ch. 2002-20; s. 60, ch. 2010-5.
321.03 Imitations prohibited; penalty.—Unless specifically authorized by the Florida Highway Patrol, a person in the state shall not color or cause to be colored any motor vehicle or motorcycle the same or similar color as the color or colors so prescribed for the Florida Highway Patrol. A person who violates this section or s. 321.02 with respect to uniforms, emblems, motor vehicles and motorcycles commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall employ such clerical help and mechanics as may be necessary for the economical and efficient operation of such department.
History.—s. 3, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(617); s. 3, ch. 20451, 1941; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 206, ch. 71-136; s. 29, ch. 2010-223.
321.04 Personnel of the highway patrol; rank classifications; probationary status of new patrol officers; subsistence; special assignments.—
(1) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall employ patrol officers, as authorized by the Legislature in appropriating funds for their salaries exclusive of those members of the patrol who are assigned to and paid by special departments; and shall establish the necessary supervisory ranks within the Florida Highway Patrol to efficiently supervise and carry out the designated functions of the patrol and the department in accordance with the regulations established by the Department of Management Services.
(2) Each person who is employed as a patrol officer shall be carried on a probationary status for the period of 1 year from date of employment, during which period he or she may be dismissed without recourse. Patrol officers when sent on special detail or missions out of their regular assigned territories or headquarters shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(3) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall assign one patrol officer to the office of the Governor; said patrol officer so assigned shall be selected by the Governor and shall have rank and pay not less than that of a lieutenant of the Florida Highway Patrol, and said patrol officer so assigned shall be paid by said department from the appropriation made to said department; said patrol officer shall have and receive all other benefits provided for in this chapter or any other statute now in existence or hereinafter enacted.
History.—s. 4, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(618); s. 4, ch. 20451, 1941; s. 1, ch. 24151, 1947; s. 2, ch. 26800, 1951; s. 2, ch. 28125, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29816, 1955; s. 1, ch. 31393, 1956; s. 1, ch. 57-286; s. 1, ch. 59-114; s. 1, ch. 61-253; s. 1, ch. 63-169; s. 19, ch. 63-400; s. 1, ch. 67-44; s. 1, ch. 67-183; ss. 1-3, ch. 69-194; s. 25, ch. 69-353; ss. 24, 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 72-33; s. 114, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 1, ch. 94-81; s. 919, ch. 95-148.
321.05 Duties, functions, and powers of patrol officers.—The members of the Florida Highway Patrol are hereby declared to be conservators of the peace and law enforcement officers of the state, with the common-law right to arrest a person who, in the presence of the arresting officer, commits a felony or commits an affray or breach of the peace constituting a misdemeanor, with full power to bear arms; and they shall apprehend, without warrant, any person in the unlawful commission of any of the acts over which the members of the Florida Highway Patrol are given jurisdiction as hereinafter set out and deliver him or her to the sheriff of the county that further proceedings may be had against him or her according to law. In the performance of any of the powers, duties, and functions authorized by law, members of the Florida Highway Patrol have the same protections and immunities afforded other peace officers, which shall be recognized by all courts having jurisdiction over offenses against the laws of this state, and have authority to apply for, serve, and execute search warrants, arrest warrants, capias, and other process of the court. The patrol officers under the direction and supervision of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall perform and exercise throughout the state the following duties, functions, and powers:
(1) To patrol the state highways and regulate, control, and direct the movement of traffic thereon; to maintain the public peace by preventing violence on highways; to apprehend fugitives from justice; to enforce all laws regulating and governing traffic, travel, and public safety upon the public highways and providing for the protection of the public highways and public property thereon, including the security and safety of this state’s transportation infrastructure; to make arrests without warrant for the violation of any state law committed in their presence in accordance with state law; providing that no search may be made unless it is incident to a lawful arrest, to regulate and direct traffic concentrations and congestions; to enforce laws governing the operation, licensing, and taxing and limiting the size, weight, width, length, and speed of vehicles and licensing and controlling the operations of drivers and operators of vehicles, including the safety, size, and weight of commercial motor vehicles; to collect all state fees and revenues levied as an incident to the use or right to use the highways for any purpose, including the taxing and registration of commercial motor vehicles; to require the drivers of vehicles to stop and exhibit their driver’s licenses, registration cards, or documents required by law to be carried by such vehicles; to investigate traffic accidents, secure testimony of witnesses and of persons involved, and make report thereof with copy, if requested in writing, to any person in interest or his or her attorney; to investigate reported thefts of vehicles; and to seize contraband or stolen property on or being transported on the highways. Each patrol officer of the Florida Highway Patrol is subject to and has the same arrest and other authority provided for law enforcement officers generally in chapter 901 and has statewide jurisdiction. Each officer also has arrest authority as provided for state law enforcement officers in s. 901.15. This section does not conflict with, but is supplemental to, chapter 933.
(2) To assist other constituted law enforcement officers of the state to quell mobs and riots, guard prisoners, and police disaster areas.
(3)(a) To make arrests while in fresh pursuit of a person believed to have violated the traffic and other laws.
(b) To make arrest of a person wanted for a felony or against whom a warrant has been issued on any charge in violation of federal, state, or county laws or municipal ordinances.
(4)(a) All fines and costs and the proceeds of the forfeiture of bail bonds and recognizances resulting from the enforcement of this chapter by patrol officers shall be paid into the fine and forfeiture fund established pursuant to s. 142.01 of the county where the offense is committed. In all cases of arrest by patrol officers, the person arrested shall be delivered forthwith by the officer to the sheriff of the county, or he or she shall obtain from the person arrested a recognizance or, if deemed necessary, a cash bond or other sufficient security conditioned for his or her appearance before the proper tribunal of the county to answer the charge for which he or she has been arrested; and all fees accruing shall be taxed against the party arrested, which fees are hereby declared to be part of the compensation of the sheriffs authorized to be fixed by the Legislature under s. 5(c), Art. II of the State Constitution, to be paid such sheriffs in the same manner as fees are paid for like services in other criminal cases. All patrol officers are hereby directed to deliver all bonds accepted and approved by them to the sheriff of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed. However, a sheriff shall not be paid any arrest fee for the arrest of a person for violation of any section of chapter 316 when the arresting officer was transported in a Florida Highway Patrol car to the vicinity where the arrest was made; and a sheriff shall not be paid any fee for mileage for himself or herself or a prisoner for miles traveled in a Florida Highway Patrol car. A patrol officer is not entitled to any fee or mileage cost except when responding to a subpoena in a civil cause or except when the patrol officer is appearing as an official witness to testify at any hearing or law action in any court of this state as a direct result of his or her employment as a patrol officer during time not compensated as a part of his or her normal duties. Nothing herein shall be construed as limiting the power to locate and to take from any person under arrest or about to be arrested deadly weapons. This section is not a limitation upon existing powers and duties of sheriffs or police officers.
(b) Any person so arrested and released on his or her own recognizance by an officer and who fails to appear or respond to a notice to appear, in addition to the traffic violation charge, commits a noncriminal traffic infraction subject to the penalty provided in s. 318.18(2).
(5) The department may employ or assign some fit and suitable person with experience in the field of public relations who shall promote, coordinate, and publicize the traffic safety activities in the state and assign such person to the office of the Governor at a salary to be fixed by the department. The person so assigned or employed shall be a member of the uniform division of the Florida Highway Patrol, and he or she shall have the pay and rank of lieutenant while on such assignment.
(6) The Division of Florida Highway Patrol is authorized to adopt rules which may be necessary to implement the provisions of chapter 316.
History.—s. 5, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(619); s. 5, ch. 20451, 1941; ss. 1, 21/2, ch. 23724, 1947; s. 1, ch. 26709, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28081, s. 1, ch. 28119, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29774, s. 1, ch. 29970, 1955; s. 1, ch. 67-143; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-155; s. 9, ch. 69-216; s. 207, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-275; ss. 4, 5, ch. 80-298; s. 16, ch. 86-185; s. 384, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 2000-325; s. 63, ch. 2004-265; s. 30, ch. 2010-223; s. 19, ch. 2011-4; s. 20, ch. 2011-66.
321.051 Florida Highway Patrol wrecker operator system; penalties for operation outside of system.— (1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Authorized wrecker operator” means any wrecker operator who has been designated by the Division of Florida Highway Patrol as part of the wrecker operator system.
(b) “Unauthorized wrecker operator” means any wrecker operator who has not been designated by the division as part of the wrecker operator system.
(2) The Division of Florida Highway Patrol of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to establish within areas designated by the patrol a wrecker operator system using qualified, reputable wrecker operators for removal and storage of wrecked or disabled vehicles from a crash scene or for removal and storage of abandoned vehicles, in the event the owner or operator is incapacitated or unavailable or leaves the procurement of wrecker service to the officer at the scene. All reputable wrecker operators shall be eligible for use in the system provided their equipment and drivers meet recognized safety qualifications and mechanical standards set by rules of the Division of Florida Highway Patrol for the size of vehicle it is designed to handle. The division is authorized to limit the number of wrecker operators participating in the wrecker operator system, which authority shall not affect wrecker operators currently participating in the system established by this section. The division is authorized to establish maximum rates for the towing and storage of vehicles removed at the division’s request, where such rates have not been set by a county or municipality pursuant to s. 125.0103 or s. 166.043. Such rates shall not be considered rules for the purpose of chapter 120; however, the department shall establish by rule a procedure for setting such rates. Any provision in chapter 120 to the contrary notwithstanding, a final order of the department denying, suspending, or revoking a wrecker operator’s participation in the system shall be reviewable in the manner and within the time provided by the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure only by a writ of certiorari issued by the circuit court in the county wherein such wrecker operator resides.
(3)(a) It is unlawful for an unauthorized wrecker operator or its employees or agents to monitor police radio for communications between patrol field units and the dispatcher in order to determine the location of a wrecked or disabled vehicle for the purpose of driving by the scene of such vehicle in a manner described in paragraph (b) or paragraph (c). Any person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a noncriminal violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
(b) It is unlawful for an unauthorized wrecker operator to drive by the scene of a wrecked or disabled vehicle before the arrival of the authorized wrecker operator, initiate contact with the owner or operator of such vehicle by soliciting or offering towing services, and tow such vehicle. Any person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) When an unauthorized wrecker operator drives by the scene of a wrecked or disabled vehicle and the owner or operator initiates contact by signaling the wrecker operator to stop and provide towing services, the unauthorized wrecker operator must disclose to the owner or operator of the vehicle that he or she is not an authorized wrecker operator who has been designated as part of the wrecker operator system and must disclose, in writing, what charges for towing and storage will apply before the vehicle is connected to the towing apparatus. Any person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(d) At the scene of a wrecked or disabled vehicle, it is unlawful for a wrecker operator to falsely identify himself or herself as being part of the wrecker operator system. Any person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) This section does not prohibit, or in any way prevent, the owner or operator of a vehicle involved in a crash or otherwise disabled from contacting any wrecker operator for the provision of towing services, whether the wrecker operator is an authorized wrecker operator or not.
History.—s. 1, ch. 80-402; s. 6, ch. 90-283; s. 9, ch. 98-324; s. 277, ch. 99-248.
321.065 Traffic accident investigation officers; employment; standards.—The department may employ traffic accident investigation officers who must complete any applicable standards adopted by the Florida Highway Patrol, including, but not limited to: cognitive testing, drug testing, polygraph testing, psychological testing, and an extensive background check, including a credit check.
History.—s. 39, ch. 99-248.
321.14 Construction.—This chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that the greatest force and effect may be given to its provisions for the promotion of public safety.
History.—s. 53, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4157(662); s. 54, ch. 20451, 1941.
321.23 Public records; fees for copies; destruction of obsolete records; photographing records; effect as evidence.—
(1) The purpose of this section is to make available for the use of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles sufficient floor space to enable it to efficiently administer the affairs of the department and to provide fees for copies of public records.
(2) Fees for copies of public records shall be charged and collected as follows:
(a) For a crash report, a copy..........$10
(b) For a homicide report, a copy..........$25
(c) For a uniform traffic citation, a copy..........$0.50
(d) Photographs (accidents, etc.):
Enlargement Color Black &
1. 5″ x 7″ $1.00 $0.75
2. 8″ x 10″ $1.50 $1.00
3. 11″ x 14″ Not Available $1.75
4. 16″ x 20″ Not Available $2.75
5. 20″ x 24″ Not Available $3.75
The department shall furnish such information without charge to any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency upon proof satisfactory to the department as to the purpose of the investigation.
(3) Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, unless the department provides the crash report online, in which case the department may distribute up to $5 of the amount collected per copy to the investigating agency.
(4) The department may destroy reports, records, documents, papers, and correspondence which are considered obsolete.
(5) The department may scan, photograph, microphotograph, or reproduce on film such documents, records, and reports as it may select. The photographs or microphotographs in the form of film or print of any records made in compliance with the provisions of this section shall have the same force and effect as the originals and shall be treated as originals for the purpose of their admissibility in evidence. Duly certified or authenticated reproductions of such photographs or microphotographs shall be admitted in evidence equally with the original photographs or microphotographs.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 26978, 1951; s. 1, ch. 63-371; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 82-130; s. 70, ch. 93-120; s. 278, ch. 99-248; s. 29, ch. 2009-71; s. 21, ch. 2011-66.
321.24 Members of an auxiliary to Florida Highway Patrol.—
(1) The director of the Florida Highway Patrol is hereby authorized to establish an auxiliary to the Florida Highway Patrol to be composed of such persons who may volunteer to serve as members of an auxiliary to the Florida Highway Patrol as defined in s. 943.10(8).
(2) Members of an auxiliary serving with the Florida Highway Patrol shall at all times serve under the direction and supervision of the director and members of the Florida Highway Patrol. After approval by the director on an individual basis and after completion of a firearms course approved by the director, members of an auxiliary, while serving under the supervision and direction of the director, or a member of the Florida Highway Patrol, shall have the power to bear arms and make arrests. Members of an auxiliary shall have the same protection and immunities afforded regularly employed highway patrol officers, which shall be recognized by all courts having jurisdiction over offenses against the laws of this state.
(3) The director of the Florida Highway Patrol shall determine the fitness of persons to serve as members of an auxiliary, shall require their completion of a regularly prescribed course of study for members of an auxiliary as established and conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol. The total number of members of the auxiliary to the Florida Highway Patrol shall be limited to 5 times the total number of regularly employed highway patrol officers authorized by law.
(4) No member of the auxiliary shall be required to serve on any duty of and for said auxiliary without his or her consent thereto. The duties of the auxiliary shall be limited to assisting the Florida Highway Patrol in the performance of its regularly constituted duties.
(5) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any volunteer highway patrol troop surgeon appointed by the director of the Florida Highway Patrol and any volunteer licensed health professional appointed by the director of the Florida Highway Patrol to work under the medical direction of a highway patrol troop surgeon is considered an employee for purposes of s. 768.28(9).
(6) The director of the Florida Highway Patrol may present to an officer who retires from the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary after a minimum of 20 years of service one complete uniform, including the badge worn by that officer; the officer’s service handgun, if one was issued as part of the officer’s equipment; and an identification card clearly marked “RETIRED.”
History.—ss. 1-4, ch. 57-96; s. 1, ch. 71-15; s. 392, ch. 95-148; s. 36, ch. 97-300; s. 24, ch. 2005-164; s. 1, ch. 2007-45.
321.245 Disposition of certain funds in the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.—The director of the Florida Highway Patrol, after receiving recommendations from the commander of the auxiliary, is authorized to purchase uniforms and equipment for auxiliary law enforcement officers as defined in s. 321.24 from funds described in s. 324.0221(3). The amounts expended under this section shall not exceed $50,000 in any one fiscal year.
History.—s. 2, ch. 95-202; s. 26, ch. 96-413; s. 3, ch. 2007-324.
321.25 Training provided at patrol schools.—The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to provide for the training of law enforcement officials and individuals in matters relating to the duties, functions, and powers of the Florida Highway Patrol in the schools established by the department for the training of highway patrol candidates and officers. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to charge a fee for providing the training authorized by this section. The fee shall be charged to persons attending the training. The fee shall be based on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ costs for providing the training, and such costs may include, but are not limited to, tuition, lodging, and meals. Revenues from the fees shall be used to offset the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ costs for providing the training. The cost of training local enforcement officers shall be paid for by their respective offices, counties or municipalities, as the case may be. Such cost shall be deemed a proper county or municipal expense or a proper expenditure of the office of sheriff.
History.—s. 1, ch. 57-292; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 30, ch. 95-333.
321.50 Authorization to use traffic infraction detectors.—The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to use traffic infraction detectors to enforce s. 316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1. when a driver fails to stop on state roads as defined in chapter 316 which are under the original jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, when permitted by the Department of Transportation, and under s. 316.0083.
History.—s. 13, ch. 2010-80.