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 http://www.flhsmv.gov, 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.

 

Who lives a shell-tered life?

Mickler Beach 151229-14

While strolling along the beach today at Mickler’s Landing at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, I looked upward and onward, hearing the roll and thunder of the three-to-four foot waves.  I glance down to see that which crunches under my feet, step after step.

I begin watching my steps and wonder how old these various size shells are and from where did they come to surrender to this part of the world.  I wonder.

Take a look.  What do you see?  Colors, sizes, shapes, forms, weathered, incomplete, complete, broken, unbroken, evidence of being tossed around by the waves.

I sort of feel sorry for these shells.  (Okay, I’m still sane believe it or not.) They are the remains of something that lived and now only the shell of a life exists.

When I step on them – what will become of them?  Will they become tiny fragments and no longer resemble the beauty they once portrayed?

How are our shell-tered lives?  I know many of us have lived sheltered lives when we were growing up and even into adulthood.  Have we ventured out?  Have we taken the risk?  Are we living or just existing?

Life in this current arena is too short for us not to enjoy every day of it while breaking from the shell and taking a little risk.  We have become un”shell”tered so to speak.   We are now responsible for our own decisions and success in life.

How about the shell we left behind?  At some point we must realize the shell has served its purpose and now exists for others to enjoy – yet we can apply the same mission to our own lives – to help others along the way and realize the greater meaning of our own lives.

I’ll share some more thoughts on this subject in the upcoming blogs.  I welcome your thoughts as well.

 

Holiday Travels – be careful out there

It’s crazy on the roadways and people scurry around to and fro, commuting and visiting, especially this time of year.

Do you know of the roadway changes and traveling rules in respective states while traveling?

Maybe we all should take a few minutes and acquaint ourselves before heading out.

Even while living in Florida I realize quite frequently how roads change and how laws apply – and I’ve lived here for most of my life.

Since age is creeping up on me, although I’m still young at heart and still healthy, I’m thinking about taking the AARP course I just came across:  http://www.aarpdriversafety.org/?intcmp=EWHERE-MBCHAE-LP-BCW2.  I also try to read various rules of the road when I can.

What about you?  How do you stay abreast of changes while traveling?

Also, don’t rely completely on the GPS.  I see daily changes in traffic patterns on roadways and the GPS can’t always keep up with them.

Know before you go and use good situation awareness.  Be aware of distracted and aggressive drivers and don’t fall prey to them.  Let’s watch our own bad habits while we’re at it.

Have you used the 511 app?

It has good traffic information.  While in Florida I use the FL511 app.  I find it useful and current.  You can find more information at http://www.fl511.com.

Be safe traveling.  I trust you experience great blessings and safe travels during this time of year.

Enjoy Life and Live!

 

 

Florida in the forefront for automated vehicles

Florida in the forefront for automated vehicles

I’ve wondered for years why technology for automated vehicles isn’t picking up steam. Have you?

I realize most of our populace still prefer driving and are not ready to give up the thrill, or whatever you want to call it – maybe just freedom.

However, what will help save lives in our fast and sometimes careless driving society? While plenty of us drive responsibly and desire to obey the rules of the road, I believe the pace of those driving irresponsibly is increasing, almost exponentially.

Combine the lack of responsibility with more efficient, fast vehicles that help mask speeds, or give the feeling that the vehicle will compensate for our human errors, and we have a disaster in the making.

What will make up the difference?

Autonomous vehicles are coming and they will be here whether we embrace the new technology or not.

Think of the lives that will be saved if the technology compensates for us – even the safe drivers who may have a moment of carelessness.  After all, none of us is perfect or 100 percent.

Florida is on the fast tract to make autonomous vehicles a reality sooner than what we think; and I’m glad.

Will you embrace the new capability or will you reject it? It is inevitable though.

Check out this blog post from FDOT about an autonomous summit coming to Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 1-2, 2015. https://myfdotnefl.wordpress.com/.

According to the website, the third annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit is a part of the proactive planning with various state agencies, local governments, MPOs, and the private sector.  The efforts enhance automation and will continue the energy around Florida as a national leader in applying automated transportation to help improve the quality of life for all residents and visitors.

Check out http://www.automatedfl.com to learn more.