PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) —Florida Highway Patrol named January ‘Move Over’ month.

This is part of their ongoing effort to make drivers more aware of the nearly 20-year-old state law requiring them to move over for emergency personnel. 

“Encouraging motorists when they see flashing lights of any kind on the shoulder to slow down to 20 miles below the limit and move over,” Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jason King said. “If they’re not able to move over, at least slow down to 20 miles below the posted limit.”

Officials also strive to educate residents about the 2021 law, which made the ‘Move Over’ law applicable to other crews working on the side of the road.  

“So it’s definitely for law enforcement on the roadside workers, fire trucks, ambulances of any kind, but also road workers, construction workers, private or state, as well as record drivers or even trash trucks because they make multiple stops at times,” King said. 

In 2021 Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported more than 190 crashes and 14,000 citations were issued to those not complying with regulations. 

In 2022, a Panhandle trooper became part of these statistics. 

“We do have a trooper that’s in the area near the Pensacola district that was pulled to the shoulder, had his lights and emergency equipment activated,” King said. “And it appears a box truck veers across the road, sideswipes his car and then hits the car that was on the shoulder and continued down the roadway.”

Kings said thankfully Valentine only sustained minor injuries.

But the incident illustrates the reason the move-over law exists.

If you don’t observe the move-over law, you could receive a ticket for $118 to $143 and 3 points on your driving record.