Every Florida motorist should be familiar with Florida’s “Move Over” law, which requires that drivers slow down and move over one lane if they see emergency flashing lights on the side of the road.
While most drivers should know that they need to obey the law when they see a police or an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, many still don’t know that tow trucks are also considered emergency vehicles and that the “Move Over” law applies to them also.
The concern that people are not getting the message that this law also applies to tow vehicles drove lawmakers and public safety officials in Boca Raton to hold a press conference to hammer home the point.
A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) told the press conference that tow trucks drivers are just as vulnerable as first responders when it comes dealing with emergencies on the side of the road.
“You are literally standing a couple of feet from people doing 60, 70 mph, you don’t have many options,” he stated. “That’s why it’s important that people pay attention to the Move Over laws.”
In January 2012, a Boynton Beach tow truck driver was killed when a vehicle struck him. The FHP spokesman pointed out that several Road Rangers – which is a free tow service provided by the Florida Department of Transportation – have been seriously injured. One lost his legs as a result of a collision.
A motorist who does not slow down or move over when a tow truck is present can face a fine of at least $160. Last year, FHP issued 8,273 Move Over violations.
The personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville want to emphasize that the Move Over law applies to ALL emergency vehicles – whether they are flashing red and blue emergency lights or yellow lights.
The Move Over law only works if motorists obey it. Let’s strive to make Florida’s roads and highways safer for everybody – especially for our emergency responders.