Move Over Law Crackdown
ALACHUA- Florida lawmakers are considering a new bill that would require you to move over for utility workers. It would add to the existing law that requires drivers to move over or slow down for first responders.
But troopers are still having a tough time getting drivers to move over for them. During the month of January, Florida Highway Patrol troopers will be educating drivers about the move over law. On Tuesday, we got to ride along with a trooper to see just how many people still don't know about a law that's been in effect since 2002.
"Let’s see. That car did not move over. It passed us and passed them," said FHP Trooper Matthew Simmons.
Trooper Simmons takes off on Interstate 75 to catch up with a driver who didn’t move over.
"The reason I’m pulling you over today is because you didn't move over for us on the side of the road back there," said Trooper Simmons.
Florida’s move over law was put into place in 2002 to keep emergency personnel safe while working on the side of the road. In 2013, there were a total of 31 crashes involving emergency workers.
"Working on the side of the road is a very dangerous place to be. Since 1999 over 200 emergency workers have been injured or killed due to motorist swerving of the roadway and striking them," said Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace with FHP.
The driver trooper Simmons pulled over is from Georgia, but trooper Simmons said that's no excuse because Alaska and Washington D.C are the only two places in the U.S. with no move over law.
"Florida has a move over law which says that anytime an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with their lights on, you have to move out of the lane closest to them. If there is no possible way to move then you must slow down to 20mph below the speed limit. so on the interstate you must slow down to 50 mph," said trooper Simmons.
"If you're driving on a two lane road then you must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit."
While trooper Simmons was working on the side of the road, I observed some drivers obeying the law, while others keep driving on the lane closest to trooper Simmons.
"There have been numerous occasions where I have been driving and I know that I obey the law, but I will look in the rear view mirror to see what's going behind me to see what other people are doing and not a single person hardly ever obeys it," said Joshua Prescott who said he abides by the law.
If you don't abide by the move over law you will receive a ticket and points on your driver’s license. The ticket cost varies by county.
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