In their annual effort to remind Florida motorists of their need to comply with the “move over” law, the Florida Highway Patrol is beginning a strict enforcement policy this week. The increased police effort is to hopefully prevent needless roadside car accidents, which, on too many occasions, lead to the wrongful death of an emergency worker.
Florida’s six year old law provides that when a police officer, ambulance or fire rescue vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with its emergency lights on, that oncoming drivers move over a lane or decrease their speed to 20 m.p.h. below the speed limit. In those instances where the speed limit is 20 m.p.h. or less, motorists must drive a maximum of five m.p.h. when approaching an emergency vehicle
Thankfully, according to The Highway Patrol, only officer has died in such an accident since the law went into effect. However, more than 1,800 other emergency workers have been injured, including more than 270 police officers last year alone.
Drivers should also remember that the law requires similar preventative efforts to protect road rangers and tow trucks.