You may want to pay better attention the next time see an emergency response vehicle or an officer on the side of the road. Officials with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) have announced a new enforcement effort directed at drivers who don’t obey the state’s Move Over law.

Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be on the hunt for drivers who do not move over for emergency vehicles and officers, which puts everyone’s safety at risk. Troopers will be raising awareness and increasing patrols to make sure that everyone knows about the state law.

The Move Over Law was created to protect police, fire, and other emergency workers when they are on roads and highways.  There are many motorists who are unaware of the law or simply choose to not comply with the law.  During the five-year period of 1996 to 2000, motorists in Florida crashed into working law enforcement vehicles that were either stopped or parked along Florida roadways 1,793 times, resulting in five deaths and 419 injuries.

The Move Over Law, which passed in 2002, requires all motorists approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing to change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if traveling on a multi-lane roadway and if able to do so safely. If the driver is unable to move over or is traveling on a single-lane roadway, the driver is 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 five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.

Florida law enforcement officers are serious about enforcement of the Move Over Law. Compliance with the law helps ensure their safety and a safer driving experience for everyone traveling in our state. Please comply with the law to help protect those who protect us on our roadways in Florida.

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