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Reminder to Bainbridge drivers in Florida: Move over, it’s the law

January is “Move Over” month in Florida. AAA – The Auto Club Group reminds motorists to Slow Down, Move Over. The law requires passing motorists to give adequate space to law enforcement, tow truck drivers, utility service vehicles and other first responders that are stopped on the side of the road.

“This law is in place to protect the ones who protect us,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Not focusing on the road puts your life and others at risk. If you are caught violating the “Move Over” law, you could be issued a ticket which could result in a fine, as well as, 3 points on your driver’s license.”

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), there were 204 crashes and 68 injuries reported as a result of a motorists failing to move over in 2016. Law enforcement officials issued more than 5,000 citations to drivers who failed to “move over”. These alarming statistics further indicate the importance of the Move Over law.

“The Move Over Law protects those who work on the side of the roadway each day and ensures that they make it home safely to their families,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Law enforcement, first responders, service and utility vehicles provide critical services to motorists in one of the most dangerous work environments. It is imperative that motorists abide by the law and move over or slow down for these brave professionals so that they can do their job and Arrive Alive.”

AAA recommends the following driving tips while driving on Florida’s roadways:

  • Use common sense: Watch for situations where emergency vehicles, tow vehicles, sanitation and utility service vehicles are pulled off on the side of the road.
  • Two-Lane Roadway:  When approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing parked on the side of a two-lane road, you MUST slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit and approach with caution, unless otherwise directed by an emergency worker on the scene.
  • Multi-Lane Roadway: Slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle on the roadside, and – if you can – move over into an adjacent lane. If you cannot change lanes, reduce your speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
  • Stay Alert: Pay attention to changes in traffic patterns and speed limits.
  • Be Courteous: Look out for motorists stranded on the side of the road waiting for assistance.
  • Don’t Drive Distracted: Anything that takes your mind off the task of driving is a distraction. PUT IT DOWN – no text or call is worth a life.
  • By following these simple rules, we are giving law enforcement officials and other emergency personnel space to do their jobs while saving lives.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.4 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 58 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.