FHP, AAA reminding drivers of Florida ‘move over’ law
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida Capital Bureau) - Florida’s highways are expected to be packed this week, with millions of people traveling for Thanksgiving. The Florida Highway Patrol is hoping this year will be safer than last year.
AAA expects of the 3 million Floridians heading out of town this weekend, more than 2.7 million of those are driving.
“If you happen to be in the path of that car, then bad things can happen, very, very quickly,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said.
Florida law says drivers have to move over for service and emergency vehicles on the side of the road. In January, that law will expand to include disabled vehicles.
“If you’ve got cars speeding past you at 60, 70, 80 miles an hour, you know just how dangerous it can be,” Jenkins said.
FHP spokesman Lieutenant Jim Beauford said even though the changes don’t take effect until January, it’s still good to practice them this weekend. "
“It’s definitely good practice. Just think of it as a common courtesy. You’re basically allowing someone that’s having an otherwise unfortunate event to have a better day by just not being in their way,” Lt. Beauford said.
AAA said 112 people were killed outside disabled vehicles across the state between 2016 and 2020. Only California and Texas had more. That’s why Lt. Beauford said the change was needed.
“When you think about it, I’m not any more important than any other citizen of Florida. We want to make sure we’re protecting all citizens of Florida,” Lt. Beauford said.
Beauford said if drivers can’t change lanes because of traffic, they should slow down by at least 20 miles an hour. You could get a $158 ticket if you don’t.
Florida isn’t the only state to add disabled vehicles to its move-over law this year. Colorado, Maine, North Dakota, and Virginia approved similar laws.
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