Emergency and service vehicles have lights and sirens for a reason — to stand out while doing their work. As that work is based on safety, they need to be able to do that work — safely.
They need room. The message to drivers: move over if they’re stopped along the roadway.
January is Move Over Month and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) urges all motorists to do so — and follow a state law added in 2002 that drivers could get ticketed for if they ignore it. In 2014, utility and sanitation vehicles were added to the Move Over Law.
Under the law, drivers must move over as soon as it is safe to do so for any authorized law enforcement, emergency or service vehicles displaying any visible signals while stopped on the roadside, including Road Rangers, sanitation vehicles and tow trucks.
“When a crash occurs, law enforcement and first responders are there. When a disabled vehicle needs assistance, Road Rangers or tow truck drivers are there. When power lines need repairs, utility and service workers are there. The Move Over Law is in place to protect those who serve all of us on the roadways, giving them a safe space to do their jobs. Move Over, Florida, and help ensure that these public servants come home safely each day.”
It’s simple: if you have more than one lane in your travel direction, move over to the lane opposite, or at least one lane away, from service vehicles. On a two-lane road, or whenever motorists cannot vacate the lane closest to the emergency or service vehicle, they must slow down to 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.
“The Move Over Law is a necessary step to ensuring that we protect those individuals who help our most vulnerable,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault.
“The next time you see a member of law enforcement, first responder, or FDOT Road Ranger on the roadside, do your part and move over.”
The FLHSMV encourages all drivers to be as safe as possible. The public is urged to report aggressive drivers by dialing *FHP (*347).