A Broward County sheriff’s deputy was struck and seriously injured earlier this month as he was helping a disabled motorist on the side of Interstate 95. According to the Palm Beach Post, the deputy suffered a broken vertebra, a broken leg and a head injury when a passing motorist who lost control of his car hit him.
Accidents such as this serve as a reminder to all Florida residents that motorists must give a wide berth to emergency responders who are on the side of the road. The Move Over Law, passed in 2002, requires motorists to slow down or move over when approaching a parked emergency vehicle with lights flashing to allow the officer a safety area.
Under the Move Over Law, drivers must:
- Exercise caution when approaching the emergency vehicle
- If traveling on a multi-lane roadway, change lanes away from the emergency vehicle and move over safely
- Unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, slow down while maintaining a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit, being careful not to impede or block the traffic flow
The law also applies to wreckers and tow trucks with flashing lights working on the side of the road. The Florida Highway Patrol reports its officers are serious about enforcing the law. Violating the Move Over Law puts all drivers and public safety professionals at risk. A violation can result in a fine and points on your license.
Five Roadside Deaths in Five Years
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, during the period of 1996 to 2000, motorists in Florida crashed into working law enforcement vehicles that were either stopped or parked along the road 1,793 times, resulting in five deaths and 419 injuries.
Our South Florida car accident attorneys encourage all drivers to be aware of emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road and to give them room. We also ask that you help prevent injuries by allowing additional room for any vehicle stopped on the side of the road. Please obey Florida’s traffic laws to help keep all motorists safe on our highways.
About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney
The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida on the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, product liability, dog bite injuries, swimming pool accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims.
Our law firm represents victims of car accidents across South Florida, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Palm Beach and Vero Beach and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Call 1-800-299-8878 now to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.