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Troop C Warns Motorists to Move Over

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Captain J.R. Motes simulating a 'traffic stop'
Captain J.R. Motes simulating a "traffic stop"

On January 31, 2003, the Florida Highway Patrol in Pinellas County helped publicize the Move Over Law, which was effective July 1, 2002. The new law requires motorists to "move over" or slow down when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in Florida.

The FHP felt that more public outreach was needed to get the word out to motorists. "We have a lot of winter visitors in our area who are not familiar with this new law because they had probably gone back north when the law was passed," said Captain J.R. Motes, Pinellas FHP District Commander.

In response to the need for more public information regarding the Move Over Law, a selective enforcement/educational detail was set up by troopers on Interstate 275. Captain Motes parked an FHP Camaro behind a vehicle and turned on the blue lights to simulate a traffic stop. Additional troopers then waited at a nearby access road, and observed motorists who failed to move over or slow down when passing the emergency vehicle. Troopers stopped motorists who broke the law, and issued them written warnings along with information pamphlets explaining the new law. Over 100 warnings were issued during this single detail.

Troop C Motorcycle Squad members 
warning violators about the Move Over Law
Troop C Motorcycle Squad members warning violators about the Move Over Law

Tampa Bay news media 
covering the educational effort
Tampa Bay news media covering the educational effort


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