Tampa Lawyer: Florida's Stopped Emergency Vehicle Law
As a driver living in — or visiting — the Tampa area, it pays to be aware of Florida's "move over" law. When you come upon a police car, ambulance, tow truck or other stopped emergency vehicle on a roadside you are required by law to move over and away from the lane closest, or to slow down when passing on a two-lane road.
While the traffic ticket you can receive for failure to comply is considered a civil infraction, Florida police are also using the move-over law as an excuse for DUI stops, a criminal offense with far more serious consequences if you are arrested.
Since 1995, Jeff Keel, P.A. has provided experienced traffic ticket and DUI defense throughout the Tampa Bay area. If you believe you are a victim of Florida's "move over" law, contact me online or call my office at 813.629.2492 for a free consultation
Understanding Florida "Move Over" Statute
Florida's move-over law was designed to protect personnel in authorized emergency vehicles parked on the state's highways and streets as they do their jobs. Statute 316.126(1)(b) specifically states that drivers:
- "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. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, the driver shall reduce speed as provided in subparagraph 2."
- "Shall slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, when driving on a two-lane road, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer."
The "move over" act and drunk driving arrests
A "Move Over Act" awareness campaign and aggressive enforcement by Florida police can turn any roadside stop into an impromptu DUI checkpoint, especially during spring break and other holidays. The consequences of ignoring Florida's "move over" law can lead to:
- First-time DUIs
- Subsequent DWI offenses
- Underage drinking arrests
- Suspended or revoked drivers licenses
- Loss of commercial drivers licenses.
At the law office of Jeff Keel, P.A., I can protect your rights and your driving privileges against unfair use of Florida's "move-over law" and other traffic offenses. Contact me online or call me at 813.629.2492 today to schedule your free consultation.