Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2006
in the WAWS Fox30 News
Today the Florida Highway Patrol is getting tough on drivers who don't move out of the way of emergency vehicles.
The FHP is trying to get you to understand how important the "move over law" is and how it's illegal to go against it. This law applies to any emergency vehicle stopped, or coming your way. Drivers are now required to "move over" or "slow down" when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in Florida.
The move over law, 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.
Effective July 1, 2002, on interstate highways or other highways with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle, 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, are required to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle as soon as it is safe.
When approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a two-lane roadway with their emergency lights activated, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers are 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 you are supposed to travel at five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.
The "move over act,” is designed to protect law enforcement and other emergency workers on our highways, and was sponsored by Senator Victor Crist, District 13, Tampa, and Representative Mark Flanagan, District 68, Bradenton.
During the five-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 deaths and 419 injuries.