The Move Over Law Saves Lives

Golden legal scales on a desktop

Florida’s Move Over Law states that all cars traveling down the road must move over to the next lane or drop to a speed that is 20 miles under the posted speed limit when approaching an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. The law applies to the police, fire and rescue, tow trucks and Road Rangers. This law applies to every type of road and in every area of Florida.

Move Over was passed in an effort to reduce the amount of accidents and fatalities occurring on Florida’s roads due to emergency vehicles being hit by other cars. The fact that this law is actually common sense makes it even easier to comply. However, many people are still not paying attention to the law.

On August 20, 2016, St. Petersburgh Police Officer Brittany Becker stopped on the Howard Frankland Bridge to help a motorist that was stranded. This is a common practice and should have been completed without issue. During the stop, however, a woman driving a 2013 Mercedes hit both the police car and the broken down vehicle from failing to “move over” when passing by the scene. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

Sadly, in February on that same bridge, Roger Perez was hit and killed while he was operating a tow truck and was trying to remove a broke down vehicle. In May, Omar Duncan, A Florida Department of Transportation Road Ranger, was hit and seriously injured while aiding a motorist. His supervisor, Robert Lee, has stated that Road Rangers encounter many close calls and he personally has been hit while performing his duties as a Road Ranger, twice.

Florida’s Move Over Law is very basic and does not require any real special effort by the drivers. You simply move over to allow those on the side of the road to move freely while they are taking care of their business. It protects motorists as well as emergency workers and could prevent many unnecessary injuries and deaths each year.

Violations of the Move Over law will result in a ticket and fine with three points being added to your license. Fines vary by county, and drivers who do not wish to endure the cost of higher insurance rates due to the points will need to take a drivers course again.

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