Since 1999, more than 170 law enforcement officers in the United States have died and thousands injured in a crash as a result of being on the side of the roadway doing their job.
During the month of January, Florida Highway Patrol troopers will pay special attention to drivers violating the state’s Move Over law, which protects law enforcement officers, emergency workers and tow truck drivers who are stopped along Florida roadways doing their jobs.
“Florida’s Move Over law was enacted to protect those trying to protect Florida’s motorists,” said Col. David Brierton, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Our troopers are out on the roadways every day working to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities. Motorists need to understand the Move Over law and abide by the law for everyone’s safety.”
Understanding Move Over:
· Drivers must move over when a patrol car, emergency vehicle and/or tow truck is stopped on the side of a road with lights flashing.
· If they cannot move over safely, drivers shall slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
· Approach the emergency vehicle with caution.
· Violating the Move Over law puts motorists and public safety professionals at risk.
· Violating the Move Over law can result in a fine and points on your driver license record.
In 2012, four Florida troopers were involved crashes that occurred on the shoulders and emergency lanes of Florida’s roadways.
· Richard Guzman (Troop C, Hillsborough County) On Jan. 4, Guzman was completing a traffic crash investigation when a vehicle drove off the roadway and into the grass shoulder. The vehicle sideswiped Guzman’s vehicle. Guzman was inside his patrol vehicle at the time of the crash. No injuries were involved.
· David Rodriguez (Troop D, Orange County) On Jan. 26, Rodriguez was parked in the inside emergency lane completing a traffic stop. The vehicle struck the rear of Rodriguez’s motorcycle and Rodriguez then struck the hood and windshield of the vehicle. He is out of the hospital and continues to recover. He has not returned to work.
· Daniel Morley (Troop L, Palm Beach County) On Feb. 23, Morley was parked in the outside shoulder conducting a traffic stop when a vehicle veered off the roadway and struck Morley. He sustained minor injuries and is back to work. His in car video captured the incident.
· Felecia Andrews (Troop L, Broward County) On Dec. 28, Andrews was parked on the emergency lane working a crash. For unknown reasons, a vehicle was traveling northbound in the emergency lane. The vehicle struck the rear of Andrews’s patrol vehicle causing a chain reaction of three other vehicles. She remains at Broward Health Medical Center in serious but stable condition with multiple injuries.
Read more on Florida’s Move Over Law at http://www.flhsmv.gov/SafetyTips/MoveOverTips.htm
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FDHSMV or find us on Facebook.