TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Move over, or get pulled over — That’s the takeaway from a recently signed bill expanding Florida’s existing Move Over Law.
The bill, HB 425, was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday after it received unanimous support in both the Florida House and Senate. It will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Currently, drivers are required to move over from the lane closest to stopped emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles, and construction vehicles when driving on interstates or highways with two or more lanes.
If a driver cannot safely move over, they are required to reduce their speed to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.
Beginning in January, the Move Over Law will be expanded to include disabled vehicles that are stopped and displaying hazard lights, emergency flares, or emergency signage.
Violators could be pulled over and fined between $60 and $158.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) applauded the bill’s passage saying, “We are extremely grateful that Florida lawmakers took this necessary action to enhance protection for all motorists, in addition to the first responders who come to their aid.”
The move cements Florida as the 17th state requiring drivers to move over for broken-down vehicles.
AAA said between 2016-2020, an average of 350 people were fatally struck each year while standing near a disabled vehicle. On average, two emergency responders, including tow workers, are struck and killed every month by a driver who fails to move over, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“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.”