As a reminder, Florida law requires drivers to move over a lane for stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, utility service vehicles, tow trucks or wreckers, and (just added in 2021) emergency vessels, road and bridge maintenance and construction vehicles.
Preliminary data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that in 2021, there were 191 crashes and more than 14,000 citations issued for motorists failing to move over in Florida.
If you aren’t sure what Florida State Statute 316.126 (the “Move Over Law”) says, here is a breakdown to help you understand the law when approaching a vehicle or vessel that has emergency lights engaged…
- Drivers must slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit
- If the posted speed limit is 20 mph or below, the law states drivers must reduce speed to 5 mph
- On the water, boaters must proceed at a slow speed with minimum wake when within 300 ft of an emergency vessel with lights engaged
This law was implemented in 2002 to protect workers so they can clear the situation safely, enabling all traffic to resume normal pace.
“Whether it’s on the road or on the water, deputies are out there to enforce the laws and protect the people. If you see any vehicle with its lights on, slow down and move over. It’s not just about avoiding a citation, it’s about making sure everyone, including the deputies, get home safely.”– Sheriff Bill Prummell
Violating the Move Over Law can result in a fine, fees, and points on your driving record. It can also be deadly.
Be smart, be safe.