Understanding Florida's Move Over Law

Florida's Move Over Law requires that the driver moves over to the next lane safely when there are stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, or utility service vehicles and tow trucks pulled over on the side of the road. If you are unable to safely move over to the next lane, then the law states that you should slow your vehicle to twenty miles under the posted speed limit.

The Move Over Law was enacted in 2002 and was an attempt to help reduce the number of accidents caused by motorists against law enforcement officials, emergency responders, and others who are stopped on the sides of Florida's highways and roads.

Failure to Move Over

If you fail to move over, the result may be fines, fees, and even points on your driving record. It is considered a noncriminal infraction and is punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as a moving violation. While these penalties don't seem too severe, the costs can begin to add up and can ultimately be quite substantial.
Since you can also have three points added to your license, you can also find yourself with a suspended or revoked license. You may also find increased costs through your insurance company because of the violation.

It Is Unsafe to Move Over

If you find that it is unsafe to move over and change lanes, then the law states you must reduce your speed as stated above. If the posted speed limit is only 20 mph, then you need to slow the vehicle down to 5 mph. Never stop your vehicle if not directed to do so because this can seriously impede the flow of traffic and can also create hazardous roadway conditions.

Like vehicles, pedestrians are also required to adhere to this law as well. If they have the right of way on the road, they should yield their right of way to emergency vehicles and responders and wait until the vehicles have safely passed by.

The Statistics

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 200 crashes that were the result of move over violations. Over 17,000 citations were also issued due to motorists failure to comply.

With the high amount of distracted driving and everyone choosing to be on their phones while driving, people are failing to pay attention, and this is causing dangerous road conditions. The Move Over Law is helping to reduce the number of accidents that are occurring because people are not seeing and paying attention to the vehicles pulled over.

Florida motorists need to pay attention, move over, and slow down and in doing so, they are doing their part to protect the lives of the people who are trying to protect them on a daily basis.

In Summary

If you find yourself on a multi-lane road, then the driver must leave the lane that is closest to the emergency vehicle. If they cannot safely change lanes, they are required to slow down to 20 mph under the posted speed limit. If you are already in the next lane over, then be prepared to allow those in the lane that needs to be vacated to safely change lanes.

Following Florida's Move Over law means doing what we can to protect ourselves and others while sharing the roads and highways..