In all 50 states, drivers are required to move to the next lane over when approaching an emergency vehicle parked on the shoulder of the road. However, you may not know that last year, Florida enacted even stricter requirements. Florida Statute 316.126 requires motorists to move over or slow down to protect the safety of sanitation and utility workers and tow truck drivers as they perform tasks on the roadside, in addition to law enforcement officers.
One proposal for the 2016 legislative session asks lawmakers to add Road Rangers to the law as well. Road Rangers are a free service by FDOT to provide highway assistance services during incidents to reduce delay and improve safety for the motoring public and responders. Since the program’s inception in 2000, the Road Rangers have made over 4.3 million service assists with more occurring daily.
If you are approaching an emergency vehicle, tow truck, utility truck, or sanitation vehicle, keep this in mind:
- On a two-lane roadway, you are required to slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.
- If the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less, you must slow down to five miles per hour.
- While driving on an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes of travel, you must vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are not able to safely move over, you must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.
If you are able to do so safely, moving over for vehicles that don’t fall under the Move Over Act (such as passenger vehicles that are pulled over waiting for assistance) is still the smart thing to do. By failing to obey the Move Over Act, you put yourself and people on the side of the road in danger, and you risk a fine and points on your driver’s license.
For more information about Florida’s Move Over Law, please visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.