MIAMI (WSVN) - January is Move Over Awareness Month in Florida, so officials are coming together to make sure drivers understand and follow the rules of the road.
The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation teamed up Monday to remind drivers to move over a lane for emergency and service vehicles stopped along the roadway.
“It can be a police officer, a firefighter, road ranger, towing company, sanitation department — anyone that is providing a service to you.” said FHP Lt. Joe Sanchez.
Earlier this month, road ranger Zucchero Cole was rushed to the hospital after a car crashed into his truck while he was responding to an accident on Interstate 95 in Oakland Park.
Similarly, FHP trooper Daniel Cruz was struck by a suspected drunk driver while investigating a crash on the Palmetto Expressway in Hialeah back in December. The incident left him out of work for six months and unable to walk at this time.
“Recently, three troopers have been hit, and several road rangers, in the past few years, have been hit,” said Jim Wolfe, FDOT District 6 Secretary. “They’re out there trying to make things safer for the public, and yet they are in danger.”
Officials said not many drivers know about the safety law and the hazards that lie on the open road.
“Sadly, throughout the state, we’ve seen a lot of people lose their lives because people are violating this law,” said Sanchez. “It’s affecting us here locally, we’ve had three troopers seriously injured, struck by motor vehicles who clearly violated the Move Over law.”
The Move Over law states drivers must slow their speed by at least 20 miles per hour or move over a lane, if possible, when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.
If you violate the move over law, you can be issued a ticket, receive three points on your license and have to pay a fine.
FHP troopers are now on the road, stopping drivers who break the law.
“This guy drove by two troopers and didn’t slow down or move over,” said FHP Lt. Alex Camacho.
As many as 240 traffic citations were handed out on Monday.
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