January is “Move Over” month in Florida. AAA – The Auto Club Group reminds motorists to Slow Down, Move Over. The law requires passing motorists to give adequate space to law enforcement, tow truck drivers, utility service vehicles and other first responders that are stopped on the side of the road.
“This law is in place to protect the ones who protect us,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Not focusing on the road puts your life and others at risk. If you are caught violating the “Move Over” law, you can be issued a ticket (cost depends on the Florida county) as well as 3 points on your driver’s license.”
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), in 2016 there were 204 crashes and 68 injuries reported as a result of a motorists failing to move over. More than 5,000 citations were issued. These alarming statistics further indicate the importance of the Move Over law.
“DHSMV is committed to safety on Florida’s roadways, and the Move Over Law protects the public servants who must work roadside each day,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “The simple act of moving over not only gives law enforcement, first responders, service and utility vehicles and Road Rangers space to do their job in an intensely dangerous setting, it also helps to ensure they are able to return home to their loved ones following their shift each day.”
AAA offers theses precautionary tips while driving on Florida’s roadways:
Use common sense: Watch for situations where emergency vehicles, tow vehicles, sanitation and utility service vehicles are pulled off on the side of the road.
Two-Lane Roadway: When approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing parked on the side of a two-lane road, you MUST slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit and approach with caution, unless otherwise directed by an emergency worker on the scene.
Multi-Lane Roadway: Slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle on the roadside, and – if you can – move over into an adjacent lane. If you cannot change lanes, reduce your speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
Stay Alert: Pay attention to changes in traffic patterns and speed limits.
Be Courteous: Look out for motorists stranded on the side of the road waiting for assistance.
Don’t Drive Distracted: Anything that takes your mind off the task of driving is a distraction. PUT IT DOWN – no text or call is worth a life.
By following these simple rules, we are giving law enforcement officials and other emergency personnel space to do their jobs while saving lives.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.