To address the high number of accidents that were being caused by motorists in connection with first responders, law enforcement and emergency officials, legislators in 46 states have passed Move Over Laws. In Florida, the bill was passed in 2002 as a more effective way to protect law enforcement officers and emergency personnel on Florida’s roadways. If you plan to drive in Florida during the summer months, know that these “100 deadliest days,” are the most dangerous time to drive there, according to injury lawyers Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, who remind you to stay safe and drive safely while in the Sunshine State.
Despite numerous public awareness campaigns across the United States, it is estimated that seven in ten drivers are unaware of the Move Over laws. Specifically, when approaching emergency or law enforcement vehicles that have their lights flashing, the following details of the Move Over Laws apply.
- Single and Two Lane Roadways: Drivers are required on two lane roads to slow to a speed of less than 20 miles per hour of the posted speed limit. When the speed limit is under 20 miles per hour, drivers must slow to five miles per hour.
- Interstate and Multiple Lane Roads: If drivers are on the interstate or multiple lane roads in the same direction, they must vacate the lane to the right as soon as it is safe to do so. If unable to move over safely, drivers must slow down to speeds of 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit, unless otherwise directed by law enforcement officers.
Drivers are also cautioned not to block the flow of traffic or stop in the roadway, unless a law enforcement officer requires it.
Because violating the Move Over Law puts drivers, passengers and general public safety at risk, Florida law enforcement officers are very serious about enforcing it. Therefore, those who do not take the time to understand and comply with Florida’s Move Over Law can face some stiff and unpleasant penalties. Any person found to have violated the law is punishable by:
- Fines upwards of $164.00 plus county court costs of $90
- 3 points placed against driver’s licenses
- Costs of legal representation and other court fees
While these penalties may not seem severe at the outset, the costs associated with them can grow to be much more substantial. For instance, adding points to driver’s licenses usually leads to suspensions or revocations. Additionally, the long term increases to insurance premiums will add up to be quite significant over time.
More officers fear dying after being struck by a vehicle than by gunfire, and states including Florida have been diligently beefing up the enforcement of the Move Over laws during recent years. This is evidenced by the issuance of over 6,713 citations annually as compared with under 2,000 in prior years.
While many people do their best to follow the laws, misunderstandings can and do take place. Keep in mind that violations of the Move Over Law may be contested by an experienced Florida traffic ticket attorney who fully understands the law. Residents or visitors who are cited for violating this Law should retain a Florida traffic ticket lawyer in an effort to reverse the ticket or minimize damages.
Midnight Walker writes about state laws, accident prevention and Florida-related topics. She is passionate about keeping families safe on the roads. Injury lawyers, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene will help you get your life back to normal as soon as possible after an accident. They want you to have a fun and safe trip to Florida.