Road Safety Comes First: Understanding Florida’s Move Over Law

If you’re a driver in Florida, it’s important to stay current with the laws of the road. One of those is the state’s “Move Over” law, established to ensure that everyone stays safe on the highway. The statute requires that drivers safely move over or slow down for approaching or stopped emergency or service vehicles. Not following the law can be dangerous for drivers and roadside workers. Additionally, it can lead to fines and points on a person’s driving record.

Have you been cited for failing to yield for an emergency vehicle in Fort Lauderdale? Schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Grossman, LLC by calling (954) 280-8811 or submitting an online contact form today.

What Is Florida’s Move Over Law?

Motorists driving in the Sunshine State are required by Florida Statutes § 316.126 to move over or slow down for emergency or other service vehicles. When these vehicles are coming up from behind a motorist with lights and/or sirens activated, drivers must yield the lane, pull as close to the curb as possible, and clear the intersection. The driver must stop and remain so until the emergency vehicle has passed.

The Move Over law doesn’t just apply to approaching emergency or other service vehicles. It also applies to stationary vehicles, including law enforcement, sanitation, utility, and maintenance or construction vehicles. When any of these vehicles are stopped on the road with its lights activated, drivers must vacate the lane closest to it. If it’s not possible to safely move over, motorists should reduce their speed.

Drivers must slow down as follows:

  • To 20 miles per hour or less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more
  • To 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less

What Is the Purpose of the Move Over Law?

Florida’s Move Over law is designed to help protect the safety of emergency workers, first responders, and other service personnel who must often perform necessary duties on the roadside. It ensures that when drivers pass them, they do so safely and without putting themselves or others at risk.

Failing to adhere to Florida Statute § 316.126 could lead to serious consequences, such as collisions with other vehicles or roadside workers. Obeying the law helps drivers avoid preventable crashes, keeping Florida’s roads safe for residents and visitors.

Moreover, other motorists are likely to follow suit when one person moves over or slows down for stopped or approaching emergency or service vehicles.

What Are the Penalties for Violating the Statute?

Drivers who fail to observe the Move Over law will be cited and charged with a noncriminal infraction. The consequences of being found guilty include a hefty fine.

Additionally, failing to yield to emergency or service vehicles is a 3-point violation. In Florida, when drivers accrue 12 or more points on their driving records in 12 months, they can be subject to a 30-day driver’s license suspension.

Thus, staying vigilant and following the Move Over law can help motorists avoid any adverse actions against them.

How to Stay in Compliance with the Law

Florida’s Move Over law is an important safety requirement that all drivers must be aware of.

To ensure compliance with the law, motorists must remember to:

  • Pull over when an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind.
  • Move over when passing a stopped emergency or service vehicle.
  • Reduce speed and proceed with caution if moving over is not possible.

Remember, the Move Over law was created to protect those working along the roadside and ensure everyone stays safe while out driving.

Can You Fight a Move Over Ticket

Receiving a citation for failing to move over or slow down for an emergency or service vehicle does not mean an automatic conviction for the alleged offense. Drivers can challenge the ticket and seek to avoid or minimize penalties. Doing so requires developing a compelling legal strategy based on the facts and applications of the law. A motorist trying to handle their matter on their own might face challenges and frustrations. That is why it is a good idea to retain the services of an attorney versed in traffic law. A lawyer can assess the case, analyze the evidence, and determine how to challenge the accusations of a violation.

To discuss your case with our Fort Lauderdale attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Grossman, LLC, please contact us at (954) 280-8811.