Florida Highway Patrol Increases Enforcement Of Move Over Law
Florida Highway Patrol recently joined law enforcement agencies in five other states (including Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan) to promote the enforcement of the “Move Over” law along Interstate 75. The increased enforcement was part of the ongoing “Staying Alive on I-75” safety campaign that was first launched in March, 2014, to help increase safety for first responders along the highway.
Move Over Law Requirements
Florida’s Move Over law requires vehicles traveling on a two-lane roadway to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed. (If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, vehicles must slow down to 5 miles per hour.)
For drivers on an interstate or roadway that has multiple lanes of travel in the same direction, drivers who are approaching an emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle parked along the roadway must get out of the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.
If the driver cannot safely move over, the driver must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. So, if a driver is on the Florida Turnpike and the speed limit is 70 mph, a driver must move over or slow down to 50 mph as the driver’s vehicle approaches and passes the emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle.
Effective July 1, 2014, Florida’s Move Over law was amended to require drivers to also move over for sanitation vehicles and utility service vehicles that are along the side of the roadway.
Drivers who do not move over or slow down face penalties of $150, depending on the Florida county, and 3 points on their driver’s license.
Crashes Occur When Drivers Do Not Move Over Or Fail To Slow Down
On almost a weekly basis, there is a crash on I-75 involving a vehicle that failed to move over as required by Florida law. Those injured often include police officers, law enforcement, emergency personnel such as EMTs and firemen, as well as tow truck drivers.
For example, in a recent crash a FHP trooper was killed, along with a tow truck driver and the driver of a disabled vehicle, when another car lost control and plowed into them on the side of the road.
In another accident, a father of seven was killed when another driver lost control and crashed into the father as he tried to help at a vehicle accident site.
Injuries and fatalities in these roadside crashes are usually caused by driver inattention and excessive speed. In some situations, Florida drivers even ignore police warning signals, such as flashing arrows instructing them to change lanes due to the presence of an accident.
For all drivers, awareness on the road and being alert for possible hazards is key. As stated by one dad whose son was rear–ended when he slowed down for a law enforcement vehicle, “My son was involved in an accident. An accident that shouldn’t have happened…My son was doing the right thing. Slowing down for a law enforcement vehicle.”
If you have been injured in an accident involving a stopped vehicle or other motor vehicle accident, the Tallahassee personal injury attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks can help. Call us today at 850-224-3310 for a free consultation regarding your potential personal injury claim.