Drivers required to "Move Over" on July
Effective July 1, 2002, drivers will be required
to "move over" or "slow down" when approaching
an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in
Florida. The "Move
Over Act", passed during the 2002 session of the Florida
Legislature, was signed by Governor Jeb Bush on May 1, 2002.
There are several important provisions concerning
this new law. Beginning July 1st, on interstate highways or other
highways with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the
emergency vehicle, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement
officer, drivers approaching a law enforcement or other authorized
emergency vehicle parked on a roadway with their emergency lights
activated, will be required to vacate the lane closest to the emergency
vehicle, as soon as it is safe to do so.
When approaching a law enforcement or other
authorized emergency vehicle parked on a two-lane roadway with their
emergency lights activated, and except when otherwise directed by
a law enforcement officer, drivers will be 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 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles
per hour or less.
The "Move Over Act", designed to
protect law enforcement and other emergency workers on our highways,
was sponsored by Senator Victor Crist, District 13, Tampa, and Representative
Mark Flanagan, District 68, Bradenton. The support of the International
Union of Police Associations (IUPA) was instrumental in getting
this important piece of legislation passed.
During the 5-year period of 1996-2000, motorists
in Florida crashed into working law enforcement vehicles that were
stopped/parked along Florida roadways 1,793 times, resulting in
five deaths and 419 injuries.