Citrus County – The side of the road can be a dangerous place for emergency vehicles. That’s why Florida law enforcement officers are serious about the “Move Over” law. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is cracking down on drivers who don’t move over and give safe clearance to first responders.
June is “Move Over” month, but the CCSO wanted to make a statement that would last and keep the move over campaign going throughout the year. Today, members of several different divisions within the agency got together for a powerful photo that would capture the importance of moving over for emergency vehicles.
The “Move Over” law crack down comes after 30-year-old Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard was struck and killed last month when she was helping with a two-car collision on the side of I-75 south. A pickup truck struck Richard, tow truck driver John Duggan and George Robert Phillips. All three were killed.
“Many of our deputies were friends with Chelsea and it really hit home for a lot of us when she was killed. It’s just senseless. All you have to do is move over and slow down,” said Commander Buddy Grant.
The “Move Over” law – Florida Statute 316.126 – was enacted in 2002, but some drivers are still failing to obey. The law is designed so motorists give emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the side of the road a wide berth in an effort to make it safer for not only emergency response vehicles, but tow truck drivers on the side of the road cleaning up after a crash.
- On a two-lane roadway, you are required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.
- If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, you must slow down to five miles per hour.
- If you are driving on an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes of travel in the same direction, and you approach an emergency or law enforcement vehicle parked along the roadway, 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.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office appreciates your cooperation in helping to make Florida roadways a safer place to drive.
[Updated June 26, 2014 at 3:54 p.m.]
“Move Over” law enactment date was to read 2002 not 2012.