Alabama, Florida and Georgia are teaming up to get drivers to understand that when an emergency vehicle is parked on the side of the road, or any vehicle for that matter, they need to reduce speed and move over.
It’s not just a good idea in those three states, it’s also the law.
Florida, Georgia and Alabama are three states that require drivers to slow down and move over to make room for stopped, passing or approaching emergency vehicles. According to statistics compiled by the Florida Highway Patrol, in the past decade more than 170 officers have lost their lives as a result of being struck by other vehicles. ‘Move Over’ laws are designed to help keep officers and other emergency workers safe from harm as they conduct business along the roadside.
In Florida the law stipulates drivers must not only move to the farthest lane from stopped emergency vehicles, but also slow to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit, or risk a citation. Despite this law an officer has struck by a vehicle which failed to move over just last week. He suffered severe internal injuries and remains in the intensive care unit.
Being struck by a moving vehicle is a recipe for disaster. Officers and other emergency workers risk their lives every day while they go about their business of protecting ordinary citizens. They don’t want to stop vehicles on a busy highway just for fun. They do it because there is a serious problem or someone needs help and that’s their job. For drivers passing nearby the least they could do is give the emergency workers room to, well, work.
Drivers who fail to yield to emergency workers, either because they don’t see them or just don’t want to, face a citation and additional points on their license.
It doesn’t take any extra time to slow down and move your vehicle over, away from the emergency vehicle and emergency workers and it might just save someone’s life.
Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net