The state of Florida has a mandatory policy for how drivers should operate when approaching the scene of an emergency vehicle stopped on the roadside. This law is commonly called the “Move Over Law,” as it requires vehicles in the lane closest to a stopped emergency vehicle or tow truck to move over at least one lane when on a multi-lane road.
If this cannot be done, the driver must slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit until they are past the stopped vehicle.
The law came about after years of reports in which police officers, firefighters, EMTs and tow truck drivers were killed while helping others on the shoulder of a roadway. In many cases, the shoulder of the road where the emergency vehicle was stopped was too narrow to allow a safe walking area, causing the emergency personnel to walk into the roadways to provide assistance.
The shoulder of a busy highway is a dangerous area and having to walk around disabled vehicles or act quickly in an emergency response situation can make it even more dangerous. Thus, the Move Over Law was put into effect in an attempt to ensure the safety of drivers and those standing or walking on the shoulder in emergency situations.
With the Florida Move Over Law, other drivers must vacate the nearby lanes, which gives officers more room to maneuver or they must slow down to give both themselves and the pedestrians more time to react if they are too close.
Drivers must only follow the Florida Move Over Law when it doesn’t pose a hazard to other drivers in nearby lanes, which may be used as a defense if you are cited for violating this law.
The penalties for violating Florida’s Move Over Law include a citation, court appearance and fines of up to $500. More seriously, you can strike a pedestrian or crash into another vehicle on the roadside, which can result in even more penalties and possible injuries. It is important to understand Florida’s Move Over Law so you can avoid these penalties.
Contacting a Miami Traffic Attorney
You have the right to a Miami traffic attorney during the proceedings following your charges of traffic violations in Florida. If you are facing a traffic citation in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami traffic attorney team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 1-877-663-5110.