Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and local law enforcement agencies are educating drivers on the risks of not following the state’s ‘Move Over’ law.
Florida Highway Patrol’s Troop A Commander, Major Warren Fast, said the law was enacted in 2002 to protect law enforcement, emergency responders and other public service vehicles when they are providing assistance on the side of the road.
“This state law requires to vacate a lane as they approach emergency responders on the side of the road,” he said.
But if drivers are unable to switch lanes, Major Fast said the law requires them to slow down to 20 miles below the speed limit as they pass the vehicle on the side of the road.
He said that nearly 17,000 citations were issued to drivers who failed to move over or slow down.
“Move over violations resulted in more than 121 crashes with more than 80 injuries in Florida,” he said.
Bay County Sheriff, Tommy Ford, shared that one of his own deputies, Deputy Dominic Cross, was seriously injured on Thanksgiving when he was hit while pulled over to remove debris from a road in Southport.
“As he was removing the debris and putting it in the back of his vehicle, a vehicle struck him and pinned him in between his vehicle and the subject’s vehicle causing severe injury to his leg,” Sheriff Ford said. “He’s still out, but by the Grace of God he’s still with us.”
Major Fast said statistically people who drove before the law was enacted are the drivers who fail to move over, but they are reminding all drivers to stay off cell phones when behind the wheel to avoid distracted driving or failure to move over.