Law Enforcement is “designating June as ‘Move Over – Slow Down – Save a Life’ month.” This comes after “Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard…. lost her life earlier this month in a crash on Interstate 75.” (News4Jax.com) In an effort to protect police officers that patrol the streets and highways, law enforcement will be working to educate the public about Florida’s Move Over Law. This Florida traffic law requires drivers to slow down or move over when approaching police cars or emergency vehicles parked along the side of the road.
If you receive a Jacksonville traffic ticket for violating this law, it is a moving infraction. This could result in points on your Florida drivers license. The Florida Move Over law is FL Statute Section 316.126. This Florida law states:
(1)(a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, while en route to meet an existing emergency, the driver of every other vehicle shall, when such emergency vehicle is giving audible signals by siren, exhaust whistle, or other adequate device, or visible signals by the use of displayed blue or red lights, yield the right-of-way to the emergency vehicle and shall immediately proceed to a position parallel to, and as close as reasonable to the closest edge of the curb of the roadway, clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, unless otherwise directed by any law enforcement officer.
(b) When an authorized emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked or a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe:
1. Shall vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle or wrecker when driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle or wrecker, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, the driver shall reduce speed as provided in subparagraph 2.
2. Shall slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, when driving on a two-lane road, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
(c) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall provide an educational awareness campaign informing the motoring public about the Move Over Act. The department shall provide information about the Move Over Act in all newly printed driver’s license educational materials after July 1, 2002.
This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
(2) Every pedestrian using the road right-of-way shall yield the right-of-way until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, unless otherwise directed by any police officer.
(3) Any authorized emergency vehicle, when en route to meet an existing emergency, shall warn all other vehicular traffic along the emergency route by an audible signal, siren, exhaust whistle, or other adequate device or by a visible signal by the use of displayed blue or red lights. While en route to such emergency, the emergency vehicle shall otherwise proceed in a manner consistent with the laws regulating vehicular traffic upon the highways of this state.
(4) Nothing herein contained shall diminish or enlarge any rules of evidence or liability in any case involving the operation of an emergency vehicle.
(5) This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
(6) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as either a moving violation for infractions of subsection (1) or subsection (3), or as a pedestrian violation for infractions of subsection (2).