Florida drivers are now required to move over for disabled vehicles on the roadside
TAMPA, Fla., (January 1, 2024) – With the start of the new year, new laws go into effect including Florida’s enhanced Move Over law. Floridians have long been required to move over for first responders, tow trucks and municipal vehicles. Now, drivers are required to move over for a disabled vehicle displaying either its hazard lights, emergency flares or emergency signage. Violators could be cited with a noncriminal moving violation and a fine of up to $158.
“AAA has advocated for a stronger move over law through our ‘Move Over for Me’ campaign, and are glad to see it come to fruition,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The roadside is a dangerous place for anyone, whether it’s a first responder or a daily commuter. We hope this enhancement to the current law will save lives by reminding drivers to give extra space when passing anyone on the roadside.”
The Roadside is a Risky Place for Everyone
Historically, the roadside has been a dangerous place for disabled motorists and emergency workers.
- From 2016-2020, an average of nearly 350 people per year were struck and killed 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.
- Roadside crashes are notably deadly for tow workers. Government data shows that tow operators are killed at a rate of almost 43 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to just three for all other industries.
“These heroes put their lives on the line every time they rescue someone on the roadside,” said Jenkins. “We ask that drivers minimize distractions and constantly pay attention to the road ahead of you. Moving over just a few feet could mean the difference of life and death.”
AAA Safety Tips for Drivers and Stranded Motorists
- Remain alert, avoid distractions and focus on driving.
- Keep an eye out for emergency vehicles – including tow trucks – that have their lights on as well as cars that have their flashers on. Move over one lane when you see them and if you can’t move over, slow down to safely pass them.
- Be a good passenger – help identify roadway issues and remind the driver to slow down and move over.
- Watch for people on the roadside–just because you don’t immediately see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there, bent down by their vehicle, in front of the vehicle, or about to get in or out of the vehicle.
- Pull as far over on the shoulder safely possible to create more distance between your vehicle and oncoming traffic.
- Turn your hazard lights on so other drivers are aware you are in distress.
- If you are able to safely make it to the next exit or stopping point, do so.
- Call for assistance, whether via phone, website or AAA app.
- Remain with your vehicle as long as it’s safe to do so.
- If getting out of your vehicle, watch the oncoming traffic for a good time to exit, and remain close to your vehicle. Try to avoid turning your back to traffic whenever possible.
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 13 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 64 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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