By: Sharon Aron Baron
As Florida mourns the loss of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, who lost her life in May in a deadly traffic crash on Interstate 75, the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Florida Sheriff’s Association are designating June 2014 as “Move Over – Slow Down – Save a Life” month.
During the month-long safety campaign, law enforcement officers will work together to better educate the public about the law and the threat that ignoring it can pose to first responders.
“Our troopers are out there every day working traffic stops and crash scenes along busy highways with cars speeding past them, often just feet away,” said Col. David Brierton, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “And every day they face the real possibility of never going home to their families because someone fails to obey the Move Over law.”
Understanding Florida’s Move Over law:
- The law protects law enforcement officers, emergency workers and tow truck drivers stopped along roadways while performing their jobs;
- It requires motorists to move over when a patrol car, emergency vehicle or tow truck/wrecker is stopped on the side of a road with lights flashing. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, motorists shall slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
- Approach the emergency vehicle with caution;
- Violating the Move Over law puts motorists and public safety professionals at risk.
The phrase Move Over is more than just words. It is an action required on everyone’s part in order to make Florida’s busy roads safer for everyone—whether they are first responders or stranded motorists waiting for assistance. If you see anyone on the side of the road, Move Over for their safety. A life depends on it!