Every January is Move Over Month in Florida. The Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two Community Traffic Safety Program reminds all motorists to obey Florida’s Move Over Law. This law helps to protect those who protect us while they provide essential services in a dangerous environment – the side of the road.
Florida law requires motorists to move over a lane — when they can safely do so — for the following:
- Stopped law enforcement.
- Emergency responders.
- Sanitation and utility service vehicles.
- Tow trucks or wreckers.
- Maintenance or construction vehicles with displayed warning lights without advanced signs or channelizing devices.
- NEW: Disabled vehicles. (effective 1/1/2024)
New Requirements Added to the Move Over Law – Effective January 1, 2024
Florida lawmakers take action to enhance protection for all roadway users. The expanded Move Over law adds three scenarios to Florida’s current law. Motorists will be required to move over if:
- There is a disabled motor vehicle that is stopped and displaying warning lights or hazard lights.
- If a vehicle is stopped and is using emergency flares or posting emergency signage.
- When a vehicle is stopped and one or more persons are visibly present.
Florida’s Move Over Law Expanded in 2021
In addition to first responders, this law also applies to other public servants and roadside workers. Drivers typically know to move over for law enforcement, fire rescue, and emergency medical services. Many still do not realize the law requires them to move over for sanitation, utility, wrecker, maintenance, and construction vehicles. Basically, if motorists see a service vehicle on the side of the road with flashing warning lights, they need to change lanes or slow down.
The Florida requirement expanding to cover these additional roadway service providers was enacted in July 2021. Preliminary data showed that in 2021, there were 191 crashes and more than 14,000 citations issued for motorists failing to move over in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Obeying Florida’s Move Over law will help ensure all personnel working along our roadways get home safely.
- As soon as it is safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, sanitation vehicle, utility service vehicle, wrecker, or road and bridge maintenance or construction vehicle when driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes.
- Always signal your intention to change lanes.
- Be prepared to allow those who are attempting to move over into the next lane.
- If moving over cannot be safely accomplished, slow down to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or greater; or travel at 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less when driving on a two-lane road.
Violating the Move Over law puts you and others at risk, and a citation will result in a fine, fees, and points on your driving record. To read the Florida Statue, see 316.126 – Operation of vehicles and actions of pedestrians on approach of an authorized emergency, sanitation, or utility service vehicle.
Pull Over for Moving Emergency Vehicles
Motorists should always remember to pay attention while driving and pull over for emergency vehicles approaching from behind. Help protect moving emergency vehicles by:
- Yielding the right of way
- Moving to the closest, safety edge of roadway
- Clearing intersection
- Remaining stopped until the vehicle has passed