© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

State Agencies Reminding Drivers Of Florida 'Move Over' Law

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

More than 200 people in Florida were involved in crashes last year because of drivers who failed to move over for stopped vehicles, and 5,518 citations were issued.

And so far in 2017, three people have been killed.

So this month, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding people of Florida's "Move Over" law, which was passed in 2002.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins  with the Florida Highway Patrol said there's no excuse not to know the law.

"When they (drivers) get behind the wheel of a car in Florida, they need to understand the rules of the road before they get to traveling,” Gaskins said. “You're required to know the rules of the road. It's just a courteous gesture to move over for everybody, anyway."

The law requires motorists to move or yield right-of-way to emergency, utility and sanitation vehicles – which includes tow trucks.   

If they can't safely move over, motorists should slow down to 20 miles less than the posted speed limit.

The Move Over Law was added to section 316.126, Florida Statutes, in 2002. The statute, which was originally introduced in 1971, requires motorists to move or yield right-of-way to emergency vehicles, and in 2014, utility and sanitation vehicles were added.

Gaskins reminds drivers that not only are law enforcement officers and emergency responders at risk, but regular people with flat tires and other problems are, too.

"Don't forget, when we're on the side of the road, we're typically with another motorist, another civilian, so not only are we in danger from someone not moving over, but other people as well."

Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association said there are more than 15 million licensed drivers in Florida.

“Unfortunately, far too many officers have been fatally struck by a vehicle while performing a traffic stop, investigating an accident or assisting a victim on the side of the road,” Arenal said in a news release.

“That's unacceptable. Florida's Move Over Law is critical to our officers' safety when they are out protecting our citizens and visitors on the roads. It's simple - if you see a first responder on the side of the road, move over. You could be saving a life."

The public is encouraged to report aggressive drivers by dialing *FHP (*347). For more info Move Over Law, visit: https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/move-over/.

To see accident data by county, click here

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.