ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to move over when they see marked patrol cars or trucks on the side of the road.
That’s in response to an increase in the number of crashes caused by drivers not following the “move over” law, which requires drivers to move a lane over or slow to 20 mph less than the speed limit when they pass law enforcement or trucks on the side of the road.
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The law applies to first responder vehicles, tow trucks, safety patrol and road rangers.
In 2018, FHP said 185 crashes happened as a direct result of the move over violations. And the agency said 17,000 citations were given out in 2018 because drivers did not follow the law.
Orlando firefighter Kyle Williams said he had a close encounter a few weeks ago.
"The last thing I did was jump, and I was fortunate that he swerved slightly enough … Had he not I'd probably be dead or at least in a wheelchair," Williams said. "I thought I was going to die. When they say everything slows down – You know, when you think it's the end – It really did."
The law has been in place since 2002, but FHP said drivers can always use a reminder to help keep law enforcement officers and roadside workers safe.
#MOVEOVER SGT. TIM WOOD INVESTIGATING A CRASH ALONG I-4, WHEN A SEMI-TRUCK FAILED TO MOVE OVER. KEEP OUR FIRST RESPONDERS SAFE. #MOVEOVERMONTH MOVE OVER A LANE OR SLOW DOWN. pic.twitter.com/YspOUWNeAi— FHP Orlando (@FHPOrlando) January 10, 2019
This morning we are partnering with @FHPOrlando to discuss the #MoveOver law after three of our firefighters were sent to the hospital. They were helping a patient when their engine was hit by a speeding vehicle last month. pic.twitter.com/qfDnza9H7t— Orlando Fire Dept (@OrlandoFireDept) January 10, 2019
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