Move Over Or Else: A Look At Florida’s Move Over Law

Move over, it’s the law! If you can remember that simple phrase when driving in Florida, then you will avoid the three point penalty attached to violating this state statute. The purpose behind the Move Over Law in Florida is

Sounds simple enough, right? Well to show motorist just how seriously the state takes compliance with the Move Over Law, the state attaches a three point penalty to breaking the law in addition to fines. The law was passed in 2002, and since then law enforcement officers and other agencies have worked hard to spread awareness on how to handle these emergency vehicle situations. Unfortunately whether you know about the law or simply choose not to follow it, the stiff penalties attached to breaking it are the same. simple—to help emergency vehicles get to the site of an accident quicker and safer. This goal is accomplished by requiring all motorists approaching an emergency vehicle with flashing lights to slow down and/or change lanes away from the vehicle.

Here are some frequently asked questions on how to handle move over situations…

  1. What if I am traveling on a two lane road? As soon as you see the flashing lights, reduce your speed to 20 mph less that the posted speed limit when the speed limit is above 25 mph. If the speed limit is less than 20, then you should be going no faster than 5 mph. Doing so will slow the flow of traffic and give the emergency vehicles a chance to get around you and get to the scene faster without getting into an accident on the way.
  2. What if I cannot get over to another lane for some reason? This is all too common when an emergency vehicle is trying to navigate during rush hour traffic. When this happens, you should do exactly what you would do on a two lane road—reduce your speed accordingly.
  3. Should I stop? No! If you cannot move to another lane safely, then you need to slow down. Although stopping makes sense on certain levels, in these scenarios, it will actually serve to block traffic and slow the responders further. Stopping will be seen as violating the Move Over Law.
  4. What If I Didn’t Know About The Law? Well, now you do. Ignorance of the law is not a viable excuse, and telling the officer you did not know what to do will not go over so well.

It should come as no surprise how seriously Florida law enforcement takes violations of the Move Over Law. In addition to putting yourself in danger, public safety professionals are also at risk in these scenarios. The Move Over Law applies to all enforcement, public safety and emergency vehicles. Like every moving violation, there are possible defenses depending on the facts of your case. If you recently received a ticket for violating the Move Over Law, give the law firm of The Law Place. a call to discuss your options today.

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