Move Over!

Before we get into moving violations, we want to present the details of Florida’s “Move Over” law. This particular law has some financial consequences tied to it, so you’ll want to be sure you understand it.

In simple terms, any time you are driving and see any stationary vehicle displaying flashing lights up ahead, you are required to move over and away from the stopped vehicle(s). Sadly, laws like this are enacted in response to the deaths of innocent victims struck by moving vehicles (and even more sadly, alcohol was probably an additional factor).

Now, to get a bit more technical, “any vehicle” can mean:

  • Police, fire, or rescue responding to an emergency along the side of the road.
  • Wreckers/Auto Club vehicles helping stranded motorists.
  • Any other type of road or bridge service vehicle.
  • Trash collecting or lawn mowing vehicles.

Notice that this list is pretty comprehensive, but just remember: Stopped vehicle plus flashing lights equal “move over.” Quite honestly, what’s the harm even if a passenger vehicle is pulled over but does not display flashing lights? Move over anyway, as long as it’s safe to do so.

If you are on a road with multiple lanes in the same direction of travel, temporarily exit the lane closest to the stopped vehicle. This, of course, assumes you observe all rules about lane changes. If it is impossible to pull away from the stopped vehicle (this can happen in heavy traffic), lower your speed by 20 mph under the posted limit. Use extreme caution as you pass the stopped vehicle. Depending on why the vehicle is there, you have no idea if someone will suddenly step out from someplace where you have no view. People who are ill or aggravated at having a flat tire may forget they are so close to moving traffic. Also, if you are already two lanes away from the stopped vehicle, understand that drivers will need to enter your travel lane to comply with the law. Make room for them and use extra care. Many drivers may be attempting to “move over.”

The situation is a bit tricky on narrower roads. If you are on a two-lane road, attempt to get as far away as you can from the stopped vehicle while remaining in your lane if at all possible. Reduce your speed by 20 mph below the posted limit until you pass the vehicle. If the posted speed is 20 mph, reduce your speed to 5 mph. Again, use extreme caution as you approach and pass the stopped vehicle. And on these narrow roads, be fully aware that you may be pulling into the lane of oncoming traffic. Check your path before you move left.

Failure to observe the “Move Over” Law? Fines and points against your record. The amount of a fine can vary by county, but do you want to take the risk of finding out how much that is?

It’s time to crunch some numbers…

Let’s get into some specifics regarding what a moving violation might cost you.

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