On July 1, 2014, changes to the Florida ‘Move Over Law’ went into effect to include more at-risk workers in need of protection on Florida roads. The Move Over Law made it mandatory for drivers to either move over a lane or drastically slow down when some types of emergency or utility vehicles were on the side of the road. Until July 1, the law mainly covered law enforcement and first responders; it has now been changed to include other vehicles as well, including utility vehicles, sanitation vehicles and tow trucks.
Under the Move Over Law, if a driver is driving on a multi-lane highway and there is one of these vehicles on the side of the road, he or she must move over a lane if it is safe to do so and slow down by 20 MPH. On narrower, two-lane streets, drivers must slow down by at least 20 miles per hour when they pass one of these vehicles. If the speed limit is already under 20 miles per hour, a driver must slow down to 5 MPH.
The fine for violating the Move Over Law in Florida is $120, but this can vary depending on which county the violation occurs in. There is also a three-point penalty on the violator’s driver’s license.
Nearly every state in the country has some sort of Move Over Law on the books. They were enacted in response to the high numbers of police officers who are killed every year when they are struck by vehicles on American highways. By one estimate, almost 165 officers died across the nation over a 10-year period. This does not include other workers who are often struck on the side of the road that this new law is meant to protect, such as tow truck drivers, sanitation and utility workers.