Earlier this month, a police officer was struck by a passing motorist as he was responding to an accident on the side of the highway. According to one local news report, the police officer was responding to an accident around 62nd Street on Interstate 95 around 4:30 on a Thursday morning.
After the officer was hit, he was immediately taken to Ryder Trauma Center and admitted with serious but non-life threatening injuries. He was released later on that day and described his injuries as getting a little “banged up.” At the time of the article’s publication, it is not clear whether the driver who struck the police officer will be facing any charges.
Florida’s “Move Over Law”
Police, firefighters, and other emergency responders put themselves at risk every day simply by doing their job. When they pull off the side of the highway to investigate a traffic violation or assist in the aftermath of an accident, they are mere feet from vehicles traveling at highway speeds. In fact, accidents occurring on the side of the highway have increased dramatically over the past several years. This increase has led the Florida legislature to pass what has become known as the “Move Over Law,” requiring motorists move over for emergency vehicles when they are pulled off on the side of the road.
Florida’s Move Over Law has a number of different applications, depending on the speed limit on the road at issue. The following rules apply:
- Two-lane road: Vehicles must slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit;
- Roads with a speed limit of less than 20 miles per hour: Drivers must slow down to 5 miles per hour;
- Highways: As soon as it is safe to do so, motorists must vacate the lane nearest the emergency vehicle. If that is not possible, the motorist must slow down to 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit.
Violating the Move Over Law can result in fines as well as points being added to a driver’s record.
Civil Liability from Failure to Move Over
In addition to the above, a motorist who violates the Move Over Law may be liable to the injured party in a civil action for damages. While the law itself only protects only emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, and utility vehicles, the concept underlying the intent of the law may be applied to any vehicle in a civil case. To learn more about side-of-the-highway accidents, or Florida’s Move Over Law, contact a dedicated South Florida auto accident attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a South Florida Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of Florida roadside accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages. The skilled personal injury advocates at the South Florida law firm of Cecere Santana understand the complexities of Florida accident law, as well as the stresses and strains post-accident recovery can put on individuals and families. To learn more about how Florida law may apply in your case, and to speak with a dedicated attorney, call 800-753-5529 to set up a free consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Skateboarder Killed in Miami Hit-and-Run Accident, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published August 12, 2015.
Two Motorcycle Accidents in Palm Beach County Leaves One Man Dead and Another in Serious Condition, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 9, 2015.