Florida’s “Move Over” law states in part:
316.126 Operation of vehicles and actions of pedestrians on approach of authorized emergency vehicle.–
(b) When an authorized emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked or a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe:
1. Shall vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle or wrecker when driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle or wrecker, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
This law was enacted with the intent to do one simple thing; prevent Florida law enforcement from being hurt or killed by oncoming vehicles while on a traffic stop. However, critics of the Florida “Move Over” law are alleging that the Move Over law is being abused by Florida Law Enforcement.
It has been referred to as the “Move Over Trap”. An officer will wait on the side of the road with his lights on simply to use the Move Over law as justification to conduct a traffic stop. Florida law enforcement knows that simple traffic stops often turn into arrests for crimes such as drug possession and driving under the influence.
I recently asked a Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy about his thoughts on the Florida Move Over law.
He told me that “when you have been to as many funerals as I have for officers killed while on a simple traffic stop it makes you wonder why the Florida Move Over law wasn’t passed years ago.”
Whether you agree with the Florida Move Over law or not – one thing is for sure. If you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle, be sure to clear your lane if it is safe to do so. Otherwise, you may be the victim of the Florida Move Over law – or perhaps the Florida Move Over Trap.
Click here for more information on the Florida Move Over Law.
Please click the following link if you have been pulled over for a violation of the Florida Move Over law and would like to speak to criminal defense attorney Richard Ansara. Richard Ansara is a criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Richard Ansara is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and services all of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.