Florida’s Move Over Law Does Not Work
Sometimes laws sound great in theory, but in practice they are unworkable. Florida’s Move Over Law is one of them. You all know the drill. If an emergency vehicle is pulled over on the side of road and you are in the adjacent lane, you are supposed to move over to the next lane. The law states that if you cannot move over, then you are supposed to slow down to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit or more if told to by a law enforcement officer.
The theory behind the law is obvious. It’s dangerous for EMTs and police officers to be out of their vehicles with traffic rushing by them. The law is intended to give them a buffer zone. That makes the law good in theory because no one wants emergency workers or police officers to get hurt. The problem is that while move over laws might work well in rural areas with little traffic, in South Florida they are often impossible to follow. If you are traveling on a freeway in Miami during rush hour, it is quite often impossible to move over into an adjacent lane. According to the law, you are supposed to slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit. At it’s lowest that means, you should slow down to 40 mph. Of course, that’s still a dangerous speed for emergency workers so law enforcement is likely to signal for you to slow down even more. The law also ignores the fact that unless you want to get rear-ended, you can’t just suddenly slow down on a South Florida freeway.
Florida’s Move Over Law just does not work well in urban areas. All you want to do is get home after work. You get on the freeway and as your exit gets close, you work your way into the right lane. Suddenly, you see a police car on the side of the road. You can’t move back over and you can’t slow down fast enough to obey the law. The result is that what started as a routine drive home from work turns into a Miami Dade traffic ticket for failure to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle. I can not overstate how dangerous this law is in South Florida. Remember, most people are traveling 70-80 MPH on I-95. There is little room to switch lanes because the roads are so crowded. You have two choices, slow down and get rear ended. Or try to switch lanes and get into an accident. It is like the old video game Frogger, but you get killed if you mess up.
The law has become nothing more than just another excuse to hand out tickets to people who are not doing anything wrong. It doesn’t increase safety, if no one can actually follow the law in the real world. Unfortunately, politicians do not care about how the law works in the real world. They don’t want to change the law because that would make it appear that they are opposed to the safety of emergency workers and police officers. Municipalities also like the income they get from these tickets. If you do get a Miami Dade traffic ticket for not moving over, you know that it is completely unfair that you should have to pay for not following a law that is impossible to follow. There is something that you can do about it. You can call a traffic ticket lawyer in Miami and let him work for you. A lawyer can help you to fight the ticket so that you do not get points on your license or have to go to driving school. Do not be the person who pays for doing nothing wrong. Give us a call and we will give you a free consultation about what we can do to help you.