Heidi Cuevas | Opinion Director
Florida’s “Move Over” law has been expanded and it’s about time.
With FIU being 93% commuters, driving takes up hours of our day so it’s critical to know what driving law went into effect for the new year.
We all see the signs that say to “Move over for emergency vehicles” and (for the most part) we all do. This is because the original “Move Over” law mainly required that vehicles move over for emergency responders or law enforcement which excludes a large chunk of motorists and people on the road.
Now that Florida governor Ron DeSantis has finally expanded the “Move Over” law here is what all drivers should know.
As of Jan. 1 the law requires motorists to move over not only for emergency vehicles, but also disabled vehicles with hazard lights on the side of the road.
If you can’t safely move over then you are legally required to slow down to a speed of 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.
Even though this law seems like common sense – it really isn’t. And the alarming amount of deaths due to motorists failing to simply move over proves just that.
Ranging from pedestrians to tow truck operators, all of them are in danger of another crash despite being on the shoulder of the road.
An annual estimation of 610 people are killed on the shoulder of the road in the United States. Additionally, tow truck operators are killed at a rate of 43 deaths per 100,000 workers. The main cause is the failure to obey basic driving laws.
Speeding is a real issue and failing to be alert can cause us to swerve or be inches away from the cars in front of us.
We see these trucks and cars with hazard lights on almost everyday when we drive to FIU but it’s become such a normal sight when we drive that we don’t give it a second thought.
The penalty of not obeying the law ranges from at least a $120 fine, three points on the driving record and paying for the damages from the accident.
Honestly it doesn’t seem like enough given that someone’s life is on the line.
It’s more likely that these drivers are aggressively honked at when trying to re-enter the road than drivers slowing down when they’re already going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.
FIU commuters are in constant danger on the road whether it’s speeding, failure to check blind spots or being on the phone. There is no safe place on the road, even on the shoulder away from other vehicles.
The expansion of the “Move Over” law has been long overdue and we can only wait and see how well it will be enforced on the road.
The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.