Most Florida drivers are now aware of Florida’ ‘move over law’ which was enacted in 2002, that requires drivers to slow down and move over one lane when police vehicles are present on the side of the road or shoulder with their blue and red emergency lights on. However, many drivers may not know that tow trucks with their flashing yellow lights on are also considered emergency vehicles, as well as Florida’s Road Ranger vehicles. As such, drivers should take the precautions and move over when they see any “emergency” vehicle on the side of the road with flashing yellow, red, or blue lights or face a ticket costing up to $160.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky has said that the Florida Highway Patrol issued 8,273 citations for move over violations in 2012 and states, “You’re literally standing a couple feet from people doing 60, 70 mph, you don’t have many options. That’s why it’s important for people to pay attention to the move over laws.” Captain Chad of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office also advises to “slowdown 20 mph below the posted speed limit or move over to the lane away from emergency responders.” Both these officers want to avoid fatal accidents that can occur like in January of 2012 when a Boynton Beach tow diver died when he was hit towing a car from a car scene and the dozens of other accidents that have resulted in death or serious bodily injury.