The Miami-Dade Police Department announced this week that they have begun to issue citations to drivers caught using their turn signals. The move is the latest in a longstanding effort to combat the rampant observance of traffic laws by visitors and transplants from other parts of the country.
"We've become concerned about the growing use of turn signals in the County," said police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. "They confuse local drivers and can lead to accidents, so we've come to the conclusion as a department that they must be stopped."
Dennis Redgrave, a Michigan tourist visiting Miami last week was issued a $179 fine after signaling to turn left onto Biscayne Blvd. near downtown. "The police officer was irate when he pulled me over and accused me of 'driving like a mad man,'" said a confused Mr. Redgrave. "I thought using blinkers was the law everywhere. I guess not in Miami."
Miami-Dade Police director Juan Perez says ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. "This might be a tourist town," he added, "but that doesn't mean you can disregard local laws when you're here."
When confronted by a Plantain reporter with a copy of Section 30-287 of Miami-Dade's municipal code, which states that signaling is a legal requirement when making a turn, Mr. Perez turned up his palms, tilted his head to one side and gave a bemused smile. "It's an unspoken rule, smart ass. You don't use turn signals in Miami. Not on my watch."
An educational campaign, dubbed 'Think Before You Blink,' is underway to educate the public on the new traffic regulation.
"It's a jungle out there," said Detective Zabaleta. "We're just trying to save some lives."