Florida’s “Move Over” Law: When and How to Move Over for Disabled Vehicles

Move Over” Law

You may have heard about the Move Over Law, introduced at the beginning of 2024, which affects all interstate drivers in Florida. If you have not, let´s take a look at the famous HB 425 Transportation Law. 

While the 45-page HB 425 bill encompasses a comprehensive regulatory framework, the section governing vehicle movement on roadsides in the presence of a disabled or working vehicle particularly draws attention. This Law was implemented to reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Breaking it, will leave you with penalties off different prices.

In this blog post, we will explain the law. Remember that if you have been involved in vehicular accidents, our Car and Truck Accident Attorneys can help you navigate the legal system.

Understanding HB 425

Florida’s HB 425 outlines specific actions that drivers must take when encountering stopped emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles, wreckers, road and bridge maintenance or construction vehicles, or disabled vehicles displaying hazard lights or emergency signage, or if there are people visibly present near the stopped vehicle on roads.

To be specific, the law refers to stopped vehicles as:

  • Turned off motor vehicles that are stopped and displaying a warning or emergency lights.
  • A vehicle that is stopped and using emergency flares or placing emergency signals.
  • A vehicle that is stopped and there is one or more people visibly present.

In the first instance, drivers who are approaching emergency or disabled vehicles on interstate highways or any roadways with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction as the stopped vehicle must first attempt to change lanes. This maneuver aims to create additional space between the moving vehicle and the stopped vehicle, thereby reducing the risk of a potential motor vehicle accident.

In addition to attempting to change lanes, drivers approaching emergency or disabled vehicles must also adhere to a reduced speed requirement. This regulation aims to further minimize the risk of an accident by creating ample time for reaction and braking.

For example, if you are driving on a road with a speed limit of   30 miles per hour, you must reduce your speed to 10 miles per hour. If the speed limit is 20 mph, you must reduce your speed to 5mph if there is a nearby stopped vehicle, all this while changing lanes.

What to Do As a Driver 

To comply with the law and help prevent crashes, Florida drivers need to be aware of the following:

  • When driving on highways or roads with two or more lanes, move out of the lane closest to the disabled vehicle and in the direction of the stopped vehicle.
  • If drivers cannot safely make that move, they must reduce their speed to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when the posted limit is 25 mph or more or travel at 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less.

Any Penalization for Breaking this Law?

HB 425 further stipulates that failing to comply with the regulations regarding lane changes, speed reduction, and maintaining a safe distance when approaching emergency or disabled vehicles is considered a non-criminal violation. This means that individuals who violate these provisions will not face criminal charges; however, they will be subject to a financial penalty base of 60 dollars.

Another important regulation about HB 425 is that The Florida Department of Transportation shall coordinate with its federal, regional, and local partners to establish standards for leveling the state highway system in accordance with existing standards for regulating the operation of autonomous vehicles. What does this mean? The Estate will also take accountability for standardizing the application of this law on every road.

In this context, HB 425 also establishes that the department should consider factors such as structural adequacy, the safety of each road, and how the specific characteristics of each road environment can affect autonomous driving.

Every year, over 340,000 accidents occur in Florida, more than 210,000 people are injured, and nearly 3,000 people lose their lives on the roads. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, only 394,366 accidents were registered in 2023. While roads remain in poor condition, car accidents will continue. In these situations, it is important to have the assistance of a Florida Car Accident Attorney who can help you obtain fair compensation for the injuries suffered.

Safety Measures Regarding Vehicles on Roadsides

HB 425 introduced specific regulations for ensuring the safety of both motorists and roadside workers when vehicles are disabled or conducting work on the roadside. These measures include:

  • Maintaining a Safe Distance: Drivers are mandated to maintain a safe distance from disabled or working vehicles, typically a specified number of feet or meters.
  • Slowing Down: Drivers are required to reduce their speed to a safe and appropriate level upon approaching a disabled or working vehicle.
  • Changing Lanes: When possible, drivers should change lanes to avoid passing the disabled or working vehicle, thereby creating more space and reducing the risk of an accident.
  • Using Caution Lights: Disabled vehicles are required to activate their hazard lights to alert other motorists of their presence.
  • Worker Safety: Workers engaged in roadside activities must wear reflective vests or other safety gear to enhance their visibility.

If an Accident Happened and the Fault is Not Yours, We can Help You 

Despite HB 425 reducing the risk of crashes, road accidents can still happen. A car accident lawyer can help you get the maximum compensation for an accident; even minor accidents take time to resolve. That’s why more and more firms are joining the cause of helping victims of car accidents get their lives back to the way they were before the accident.

Our firm, which specializes in car/traffic accidents, will do everything possible to minimize the damage and help you pursue justice. Contact us now for a free evaluation of your case.

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