Officers Target Drivers Not Changing Lanes — Florida’s “Move Over Law”

If you see a law enforcement vehicle, an emergency response vehicle or even a tow truck on the side of the road, you had better move over a lane and give them some extra room. We’re not only asking to help to keep them safe, but we’re asking so you can avoid a costly citation and even a potentially fatal accident.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), officers throughout the state are using the entire month of January to work to enforce the state’s “Move Over Law.”

Our Cape Coral car accident lawyers understand that there have been more than 150 officers killed in the U.S., and thousands more injured, as a result of being struck on the side of the road while doing their job. Just in 2012, we saw one of our own seriously injured in one of these accidents. Back in February, Officer Daniel Morley, with Troop L, was parked on the side of the road conducting a traffic stop when he was hit by a passing vehicle.

Understanding the state’s “Move Over Law”:

-Drivers are required to move a lane over when they see a law enforcement vehicle, an emergency response vehicle or a tow truck parked on the side of the road with its emergency lights activated.

-If drivers are not able to shift over a lane safely, then they’re required to slow it down and to travel at least 20 miles per hour under the speed limit.

-Drivers are required to approach any vehicle on the side of the road with caution.

-By disobeying this law, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk.

-If you are busted violating this law, you’re going to be slapped with a hefty fine and you’re going to give five points on your driver’s license.

-If you’re traveling on a roadway with a 20 mile an hour or less speed limit, then you’re required to slow it down and travel 5 miles per hour.

“Our troopers are out on the roadways every day working to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities/ Motorists need to understand the Move Over Law and abide by the law for everyone’s safety,” said Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) director, Col. David Brierton.

When approaching an official vehicle on the side of the road, pay attention. This is no time to be playing with phones, electronic devices or engaging with other passengers. It’s not a time for rubbernecking either. Remember to keep on moving and allow the professionals to do their job. Passing through these areas safely should be a top concern for everyone.

Currently, there are 43 states that have a “Move Over Law” on the books. Still, about 70 percent of drivers have never even heard of the law. Share this information with your friends and family members to help to make sure that everyone is safe out there.