Visiting Florida? Know the “Move Over Law.”

Move Over

It is amazing how many people driving the roadways in Florida are still not aware of the Move Over law.  The law is in effect in 50 states but Florida’s law is a little more stringent.  Here is some important information for your next trip to Florida, or to remind local motorists.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) the month of January commemorates “Move Over” month.   Motorists are reminded to “Move Over, Florida!” for emergency and service vehicles stopped along the roadway.

Move Over violations result in more than 100 crashes per year on Florida roadways, putting motorists and those who work along the roadways at risk.

In 2014, there were at least 161 crashes from motorists failing to move over, resulting in at least 120 injuries and in a single accident, the death of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, tow truck driver John Duggan and motorist George Phillips.

From 2012 to 2014, crashes increased 41 percent and citations increased 68 percent for motorists failing to move over.

In addition to endangering law enforcement, first responders, public servants and other motorists, failing to move over can result in fines and points on a driving record. “The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles stresses to each driver the importance of complying with the Move Over Act,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.

“Move Over, Florida! The simple act of moving over for law enforcement, emergency first responders and other stopped or disabled vehicles gives these public servants adequate space to do their jobs and can greatly increase safety on Florida’s roadways.”

As a personal note, doesn’t it make sense to move over when it’s safe, or slow down, when you see a vehicle stopped along the Interstate?  Take a glimpse at the video and get a feel of what it’s like being alongside vehicles often exceeding the posted speed limit and more than 65 mph.

State law requires vehicles to move over a lane for emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles or wreckers. If a driver cannot move over, they should slow down 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

To comply with the Move Over Act drivers must follow these procedures.

Multi-Lane Roadway:

– Vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, sanitation vehicle, utility service vehicle or wrecker and always signal the intention to change lanes.

– Slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit if a driver cannot move over safely.

– Be prepared to allow those who are attempting to move over into the next lane.

Two-Lane Roadway:

– Slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.

– Travel at 5 mph if the speed limit is 20 mph or less.

To learn more about DHSMV, services offered or more about the Move Over law visit, follow on Twitter @FLHSMV or find them on Facebook.

When traveling through the Jacksonville, Florida area on the Interstates a roadside service is available to assist in getting you off the Interstate safety through the Road Ranger program.  There is no fee.

If you are stranded you may dial #347 or #FHP for assistance.  Road Rangers are not there as competition with other roadside assistance such as AAA.   It’s more of an emergency service to help you immediately and help keep the Interstate flowing safety and efficiently.


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