TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk would expand Florida’s existing Move Over Law to include disabled vehicles.
According to the bill, HB 425, drivers would be required to move over for a disabled vehicle displaying hazard lights, emergency flares, or emergency signage. If signed, Florida would become the 15th state requiring motorists to move over for a broken-down vehicle on the roadside.
Currently, drivers are required to vacate the lane closest to stopped emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles, and construction vehicles when driving on an interstate or highway with two or more lanes.
If a driver cannot safely move over, the driver must reduce their speed to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.
A violation is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation. The statutory base fine is $60, but with additional fees and surcharges, the total penalty could be up to $158.
If signed, the bill has an effective date of July 1, 2023.
According to AAA, nearly 350 people were struck and killed each year from 2016 until 2020 while outside a disabled vehicle on the roadside.
“On average, two emergency responders, including tow workers, are struck and killed every month by a driver who fails to obey the law by moving over to an adjacent lane and allowing the roadside rescuers the space to operate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” the auto club said.
“These heroes put their lives on the line every time they rescue someone on the roadside,” said Mark Jenkins, Public Relations Manager for AAA. “We ask that drivers minimize distractions and constantly pay attention to the road ahead of you. Doing so could save lives.”