The 411 on Florida’s Move Over Law
Tow truck drivers are some of the most overlooked individuals of any emergency response industry. That is because many people fail to realize that tow truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in existence—even on a good day. Tow truck drivers often have to work unprotected alongside full-speed traffic on busy highways, keeping one eye on the job and the other on the inattentive motorists zooming by. As a result, serious injury and even death can occur at the hands of uneducated drivers. The Move Over Law was created to protect all roadside emergency responders, including tow truck drivers, from being hit by vehicles passing at high speeds.
The Move Over Law was first passed in South Carolina in 1996 and has since been passed in all fifty states. However, despite its national application many drivers are still unaware of this important law. In fact, a shocking 70% of Americans have never even heard of it! As a result, tow truck drivers experience more than twice the average work-related injury and fatality rates compared to other industries, and passing traffic causes about three-quarters of all reported on-duty incidents.
The Move Over Law varies slightly in each state, but the unchanging rules assert that drivers in the lane closest to any stationary emergency vehicles (i.e. tow trucks, law enforcement vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility vehicles, etc.) must reduce their speed and attempt to change lanes to allow room for safe roadside assistance. In Florida, the Move Over Law, as defined by the Department of Motor Vehicles, is as follows:
On Multi-Lane Roads
- Drivers are required to move over a lane so that the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle(s) is vacated.
- Drivers are required to reduce their speed to 20mph below the posted speed limit if they are unable to leave the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle(s).
- Drivers who are not in the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle(s) are required to allow others to move over into their lane as needed.
On Two Lane Roads
- Drivers are required to reduce their speed to 20mph below the posted speed limit.
- If the posted speed limit is already 20mph or less, drivers are required to reduce their speed to 5mph.
Failure to comply with the Move Over Law could result in a ticket, points on your license, a hefty fine, or worse.
Tow trucking is a dangerous but necessary job. The Move Over Law was set in place to make it safer for tow truck drivers and other emergency respondents to operate, but fatalities, injuries, and close-calls still happen every day. A part of this unfortunate reality is that most drivers are simply unaware of such an important law, and don’t slow down or change lanes when passing our valued emergency responders.
If you have any questions, or need assistance after a breakdown or accident, please call Duvall’s Towing right away at (561) 432-8488 for fast and friendly tow truck service.