Do you know the state's Move Over law? Drivers in Florida may want to become more familiar with this law as the Florida Highway Patrol has increased their "Move Over" campaign throughout the state.
The Florida Highway Patrol said that they are being more aggressive with enforcing the state's Move Over law to try and decrease car accidents involving police and emergency workers. The law requires motorists to move to another lane or slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit if they cannot move over for stopped police cars, emergency vehicles or tow trucks.
According to the law, drivers are required to move over or slow down for any police car, emergency vehicle or tow truck even if an officer or emergency worker is not outside of their vehicle or helping someone. Drivers who do not move over may receive a traffic citation and a $165 ticket.
Critics of the law state that this is just a way to enforce speed traps and issue traffic citations. However, Florida officials said they are increasing enforcement of the law because it has not been followed in the state for many years and public safety is at risk. Officials said they are using sting operations to remind the public about the law and the dangers emergency wokers face on Florida's roads.
The Florida Highway Patrol said that over 170 law enforcement officers in the U.S. have died since 1999 and thousands have been injured after being hit by motorists who did not slow down and get out of the way when a traffic stop or emergency situation was being addressed on the side of the road.
Last year, four Florida law enforcement officers were involved in separate incidences that involved the officers being struck by vehicles while working on the side of a road. The Florida Highway Patrol and safety advocates said that they will continue to enforce and raise awareness of the state's Move Over law to increase safety for everyone travelling on Florida's roads.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Move Over Law: Public awareness or traffic ticket trap?" Ihosvani Rodriguez, Jan. 12, 2013