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Published on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
in the Tampa Bay 10 News

Tampa, Florida - Heavy traffic...a routine stop by an officer on the side of the road.

It seemed like a typical Monday morning on Florida Avenue in Tampa except for the 60 drivers being flagged down by Tampa Police for breaking a law many didn't even know existed.

Trooper Larry Coggins, Florida Highway Patrol:
"Anybody who's in an official vehicle in an official capacity on the side of any roadway...if the lights are on, if they're doing their job on the side of the road, motorists shall move over and give them room to work."

The drivers stopped were part of Operation Move-Over.

And instead of tickets...the officers were issuing pamphlets.

It was just the Tampa Police Department's effort to educate the public on a law designed to protect emergency workers.

Trooper Larry Coggins, Florida Highway Patrol:
"If there's not an area you can move over to...if that other lane is full of traffic and you can't safely do it, you'll reduce your speed twenty-miles-per-hour...get by and then pick up your speed again and go."

Less than two weeks ago, 66-year-old Donald Bradshaw of St. Petersburg was working as a Road Ranger when he was hit and killed by a motorist who drove through cones set up to divert traffic.

The Florida Highway Patrol and Tampa Police are hoping today's stops will not only educate the public on the law...but prevent future deaths of emergency workers like Bradshaw.

Trooper Larry Coggins, Florida Highway Patrol:
"One thing we remind all of our troopers and officers around the Bay Area and throughout the state is that there's one bullet our vests will not protect and that's a moving car."

And Tampa drivers wanted to spread the message.

Raushauna Daniels, Driver Stopped:
"Tell 'em to slow down and get over. Twenty miles under the speed limit. Whatever the speed limit is...slow down and get in the next lane."


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