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  • Writer's picturethe_tow_guy

Move Over! It applies to us, TOO!

Okay, drivers, time for me to get up on my soapbox and lecture. For starters, here's the short version of Florida's Move Over Law:

Florida law requires you to Move Over a lane — when you can safely do so — for stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, utility service vehicles and tow trucks or wreckers.

  • If you can’t move over — or when on a two-lane road — slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit.

  • Slow down to 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less.

Oh, and BTW, the fine runs about $165, I believe, and 3 points on your license. Not paying enough for your car insurance? Get one of these violations and see what it does to your premiums!

Now folks, this is not rocket science and, frankly, I am always amazed at how difficult it is for some drivers to comprehend and follow this law! Call me crazy, but I did NOT need a law to tell me this is the safe way to drive! I've been "moving over" for vehicles stopped along a roadway since I got my first license. Cop car, fire engine, tow truck, semi truck, guy with a flat tire on his boat trailer, couple of hippies pulled over to smoke a little weed; doesn't matter. I'll Move Over, when possible, for all of them.

In my current situation, I have a vested interest in people obeying this common sense principle; I spend a fair amount of time on roadsides. According to AAA, a towing operator is killed about once every 6 days, basically a weekly occurrence nationwide. Most of these are from avoidable contact with traffic where someone fails to Move Over or travels off the roadway.

Now, I'm not totally without understanding all the dozens of different scenarios wherein a driver may be unable to Move Over. Bumper to bumper rush hour traffic does not always lend itself to having space to move over, but drivers can certainly take their foot off the gas pedal for a few seconds. Even if you do not completely slow to the 20 mph below speed limit threshold, you are at least in a better position, and state of mind, to react should the need arise.

The drivers who really drive me up a wall are those who are tooling along at highway speed in the outside lane, without another car in sight, who fail to Move Over. I will oftentimes stop what I am doing, for my own safety, when one of these fools approaches and make a big dramatic gesture for them to Move Over; 9 times out of 10 I will get not the least amount of attention, much less an actual Move Over. I see these drivers whizzing by FHP troopers all the time, so I have little hope they will Move Over for me.

We are hard-working, dedicated professionals out serving the motoring public every day. Most are young (unlike me!) and many of us have families and kids. All we ask is a little of your consideration in letting us get our job done safely so we can go home at the end of the day.

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