Recently in our state, there has been some media coverage on the number of officers, deputies and troopers that are injured and killed each year performing their jobs. I am not talking about the kind of excitement you see on television, but law enforcement officers that are struck by other vehicles while they are on the roadside.
There are many dangerous aspects of law enforcement, but a growing trend of danger is including firefighters, emergency medical personnel, tow truck operators and police. I am talking about conducting our jobs on the edges of the roadway. Each year, numerous emergency workers are injured and killed by other drivers due to lack of common sense when approaching a scene where emergency workers are present. This has become so prevalent that our Florida Legislature created a law to restrict such movement.
Under Florida State Statute 316.126 (also known as the Move Over law) you, as an operator of a vehicle approaching a scene where an emergency vehicle or wrecker has their flashing lights on, are required to either move over one lane, or slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. This is an effort to make those required to perform their job functions in the traffic a little safer. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you could subject yourself to a traffic citation.
When you see our hard-working men and women out there trying to provide assistance, conducting an investigation or providing medical attention, give them some room and move over!