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Florida Move Over law violation can be deadly

TALLAHASSEE– In 2013, more than 130 traffic crashes in Florida involved motorists who violated the Move Over law.

Of those crashes, 81 resulted in injuries and two in fatalities.

This month, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding motorists the state law was enacted in 2002 to help protect law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and tow truck drivers performing their duties along the roadside.

In July, the Move Over law was expanded to include sanitation and utility vehicles.

“Moving over allows a safety buffer between your moving vehicle and the stopped vehicle. If you can’t move over, you must slow down,” said Col. David Brierton, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “It’s simply a good habit to move over or slow down for any stopped or disabled vehicle on the side of the highway.

Drivers must vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, tow truck, sanitation, or utility vehicle. Always signal intention to change lanes.

Drivers must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit if they cannot move over safely.

Drivers not in the lane closest to the stationary vehicle should be prepared to allow those who are to move over into their lane.

In Florida there are more than 18 million registered vehicles and more than 15 million licensed drivers,