Effective July 1, 2002, drivers will be required to "move over" or "slow down" when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in Florida. The "Move Over Act", passed during the 2002 session of the Florida Legislature, was signed by Governor Jeb Bush on May 1, 2002.
There are several important provisions concerning this new law. Beginning July 1st, on interstate highways or other highways with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a roadway with their emergency lights activated, will be required to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, as soon as it is safe to do so.
When approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a two-lane roadway with their emergency lights activated, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers will be required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.
The "Move Over Act", designed to protect law enforcement and other emergency workers on our highways, was sponsored by Senator Victor Crist, District 13, Tampa, and Representative Mark Flanagan, District 68, Bradenton. The support of the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) was instrumental in getting this important piece of legislation passed.
During the 5-year period of 1996-2000, motorists in Florida crashed into working law enforcement vehicles that were stopped/parked along Florida roadways 1,793 times resulting in five officers being killed and 419 others injured.