Florida Highway Patrol Reminds Drivers of the “Move Over” Law
From the Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety
January is moving month in the Sunshine State, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are reminding all motorists of Florida’s Move Over Law to help protect law enforcement officers, first responders and other officials as they provide essential services in one of the most dangerous environments – the roadside.
While a majority of drivers know to stop for emergency vehicles approaching from behind, state law too forces vehicles to move in a lane for certain emergency and service vehicles stopped by the side of the road, or to slow down if they cannot move safely. As of July 2021, Florida motorists are also required to travel for road and bridge maintenance or construction vehicles displaying warning lights. Preliminary data from FLHSMV shows that in 2021 there were 191 crashes and more than 14,000 citations issued for motorists who do not come to Florida.
“Traveling and slowing down for emergency and service vehicles is law in Florida; but in doing so, drivers are also showing a sign of support for the men and women who call the road their office ”, said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.“Accidents that happen because of a driver who couldn’t get around are completely preventable; they take our officers and members of our communities away from their families, who have given freely to make Florida a safer place to live and travel. As you head to your destinations this year, remember these four words if you see flashing lights: slow down, move. “
Throughout January, FHP soldiers will continue to educate the public, those violating the Move Over Law, and other motorists they come into contact with. The public is encouraged to report aggressive or dangerous drivers by calling * FHP (* 347).
“The Florida Troopers put their lives in danger every day on our roads”, said Col. Gene S. Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol.“Please remember to Move for all of our first responders and essential service providers, so they can return home safely to their families at the end of the day. “
All 50 states in the United States have displacement laws in place, and the Florida Displacement Act was added to Section 316.126, Florida Statutes, in 2002. The law, which was introduced in originally in 1971, requires motorists to move or cede the right of way to emergency vehicles. In 2014, utility and sanitary vehicles were added to the Move Over Act, and more recently, in 2021, road and bridge maintenance or construction vehicles displaying warning lights were added.
Comply with Florida Travel Law:
- As soon as it is safe to do so, pull out of the nearest lane of the stationary emergency vehicle, remediation vehicle, utility service vehicle, tow truck, or road and bridge maintenance vehicle, or construction vehicle when driving on an interstate highway or other highways with two or more lanes.
- Always signal your intention to change lanes.
- Be prepared to allow those who attempt to move on to the next lane.
To slow down
- If the movement cannot be done safely, slow down to a speed 20 mph below the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or more; or drive at 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less when driving on a two-lane road.
FLHSMV has partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association, and AAA – The Auto Club Group to get the Move Over message home to ensure all service professionals emergency and emergency services who work on and along Florida’s highways are coming alive. 2022.
Information about Florida’s Move Over Act and downloadable campaign material is available at FLHSMV Move Over webpage. In addition to the awareness campaign, FLHSMV educates new and young drivers about the Move Over Act year round with information in the Florida Driver Handbook and includes Move Over questions on the Florida Driver Knowledge Exam.