Since 1999, there have been roughly 170 law enforcement officers killed in the United States while working roadside. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), officials statewide will be working throughout January to raise awareness about Florida’s Move Over Law.
During this time, officers will be targeting disobeying motorists as well. This is all in an effort to put an end to these careless accidents and to help to keep tow truck drivers, emergency workers and law enforcement officers safe while working along Florida roadways.
“Florida’s Move Over law was enacted to protect those trying to protect Florida’s motorists, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Director Col. David Brierton said.
Our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers understand that there were four troopers who struck last year while working in the emergency lanes along highways. One occurred in Palm Beach County and one other in Broward County. The other two happened in Hillsborough and Orange County. It’s important that drivers pay attention behind the wheel and be courteous to others on our roadways not only to help to protect our state’s officers, but to help to protect other motorists as well!
What is the Move Over Law?
-This law applies when a tow truck, emergency vehicle or a patrol car is on the side of the road — especially with its lights flashing. When this is observed, drivers are required to move over a lane to allow them with more room.
-If drivers cannot safely move over, they’re required to slow to and travel at least 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit.
-Drivers are required to approach these vehicles with extreme caution.
-Drivers who disobey this law and not only running a risk of getting a traffic citation, but they’re also compromising their safety and the safety of others around them.
-With a traffic citation for not obeying this law, drivers can be fined and can also get points on their driver’s license.
If you don’t move over the penalty is about $120 (depending on the Florida county) and 3 points on your driver’s license.
How can I help to prevent an accident when approaching an emergency vehicle, an accident scene, a construction zone or traffic congestion?
The most important thing to do is to stay alert! If you keep your eyes on your surroundings and your hands on the wheel, you’re better able to point out problems and react more quickly to any potential dangers.
Officials with the police and fire department as well as tow truck drivers face enough danger already and this law was created because these brave emergency workers actually got hit by cars passing by. Unfortunately, they’re still getting hit today. When you’re driving and you see flashing lights on the side of the road, be a considerate driver and help to save lives and move over. You’d want someone to do it for you — make the first move today.
If you or someone you love has been the injured or killed in a car accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Speeding a Top Accident Cause to Avoid in 2013, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 31, 2012
Resolve to Be a Better Driver This New Years, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 30, 2012