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Motorists Warned to Move Over or Pay the Price

Move over motorists. That's what public safety officers are saying when they respond to accidents.

And a new law in the state of Florida is making sure drivers do just that.

It's time to move on over when you see an accident on the highway, that's what state officials say as a new law requires motorists to slow down and change lanes when approaching emergency vehicles.

It's called the move-over act, which was recently passed in the state of Florida to protect law enforcement officers and emergency crews. And the Tallahassee Fire Department believes it will save lives.

The new law is in effect right now and officers say if motorists can't move over into another lane then they must slow down to a safe speed.

If drivers continue to speed past these accident, the law states that a violation could result in fines so it may be best to slow down out there.

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Florida Move Over Act

  • Effective July 1, 2002, drivers will be required to "move over" or "slow down" when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in Florida.

  • The "Move Over Act", passed during the 2002 session of the Florida Legislature, was signed by Gov. Jeb Bush on May 1, 2002.

  • There are several important provisions concerning this new law. On interstate highways or other highways with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a roadway with their emergency lights activated, will be required to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, as soon as it is safe to do so.

  • When approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a two-lane roadway with their emergency lights activated, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers will be required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.

  • The "Move Over Act", designed to protect law enforcement and other emergency workers on our highways, was sponsored by Senator Victor Crist, District 13, Tampa, and Representative Mark Flanagan, District 68, Bradenton. The support of the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) was instrumental in getting this important piece of legislation passed.

  • During the five-year period of 1996-2000, motorists in Florida crashed into working law enforcement vehicles that were stopped/parked along Florida roadways 1,793 times, resulting in five deaths and 419 injuries.

    Florida Move Over Act Statute

    Source: http://www.fhp.state.fl.us/html/MoveOver.html (Florida Highway Patrol Web site) contributed to this report.


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