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State News

Florida enforces “Move Over” law, it will change the way Floridians drive each day

In Jacksonville, Florida, the start of the New Year marks an important change to Florida’s “Move Over” law. This change, brought by House Bill 425, makes the law stronger by covering more types of vehicles. Now, it’s not just first responders, tow trucks, and city vehicles that are protected. Even broken-down cars that are using their hazard lights, emergency flares, or signs, or cars that are stopped with people around them, are included.

Now, drivers must move over for these vehicles. If they can’t move over, they must slow down to 20 mph less than the speed limit. This update is a big deal for making sure people who are on the side of the road are safe.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that “move over” laws are different in each state, and there’s no one law for the whole country. Not following these laws in some places can lead to fines or even jail. In Florida, if you don’t follow the law, you might get a ticket and have to pay up to $158, according to Mark Jenkins from AAA Auto Club. He mentioned that being on the side of the road is risky for anyone, not just people who work there.

AAA has been pushing for this law to be better and has started campaigns like ‘Move Over for Me’. Jenkins is happy with the new changes, saying they could save lives by giving more room to those stuck on the side of the road.

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Facts show that being on the side of the road can be very dangerous. From 2016 to 2020, nearly 350 people died while standing outside their broken-down cars. Tow truck drivers and first responders are especially at risk, with tow truck drivers facing a death rate of about 43 per 100,000 workers.

Sheriff Rob Hardwick from St. Johns County supports the law too. He talked about a time when a deputy got hit by a car and broke his hand during a traffic stop. Jenkins stresses how crucial this law is for the safety of those who help on the roads, saying that paying attention and moving over a bit can save lives.

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AAA suggests that passengers help the driver watch out for emergencies on the road. If your car breaks down, try to move as far off the road as you can, turn on your hazard lights, and if it’s safe, stay with your car while being aware of traffic. This new “Move Over” law is a reminder that we all need to look out for each other’s safety on the road.

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