Florida laws have changed and drivers face fines for not moving over or slowing down near disabled cars
Florida drivers are now facing increased penalties for failing to move over or slow down near disabled vehicles on the side of the road. To enhance road safety, a recent amendment to the 2002 Move Over law now requires motorists to change lanes or decrease their speed by at least 20 miles under the posted limit when approaching any stopped vehicle displaying warning lights. This move aims to protect emergency and official vehicles and everyday drivers facing issues like flat tires or overheated engines.
Florida awareness campaigns and enforcement
Law enforcement agencies and first responders across the state gathered to raise awareness during January, which was declared as "Move Over" Awareness Month in Florida. Officers emphasized the importance of the amended law, which now encompasses all disabled vehicles with displayed warning lights. The amendment aims to prevent accidents and injuries that have occurred due to drivers not adhering to the original Move Over law.
Officers have the choice to ticket or warn drivers for non-compliance. To further disseminate information, new highway signs reflecting the expanded law are expected to be implemented soon. Despite the absence of a grace period, officers stress the enforceability of the law with or without signage.
Understanding the expanded Move Over law
The amended Move Over law, effective from January 1, 2024, requires drivers to move over a lane or slowdown in specific situations, including stopped utility service, emergency, law enforcement, tow trucks, maintenance/construction, or sanitation vehicles with warning lights. It is crucial to emphasize that the current law has been updated to encompass disabled motor vehicles with activated warning lights, emergency flares in use, or the visible presence of one or more persons. This means that the law now protects these vehicles, and any violations made against them will result in legal consequences.
How to Comply:
- Move out of the closest lane to the disabled vehicle on streets or highways with over two lanes.
- If unable to change lanes safely, drivers must travel at 5 mph for limits 20 mph or less, or slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit for speeds 25 mph and greater.
Penalties for Violation:
A violation of the Move Over law is a noncriminal traffic infraction, with a base fine of $60. Additional surcharges and fees could bring the total penalty up to $158. Violators may also accumulate points on their license, leading to license cancellation or impacting insurance costs.
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News Source: Miami Herald