Florida's Move-Over Law Simplified

Section 316.126 of the Florida Statutes is home to what is now called the "Mover Over Law." We should know it to mean we need to vacate the lane closest to a pulled over police car that has its lights on. Actually, it means a bit more than that. Hopefully, I can help elucidate everything the statute means.

Pull Over When An Emergency Vehicle Approaches

The first part of the statute refers to what we already think we know. When an emergency vehicle approaches with either lights or sirens on we must pull to the curb and allow the emergency vehicle to pass. Here are what emergency vehicles are that require this action:

Vehicles of the fire department (fire patrol), police vehicles, and such ambulances and emergency vehicles of municipal departments, public service corporations operated by private corporations, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Corrections as are designated or authorized by their respective department or the chief of police of an incorporated city or any sheriff of any of the various counties.
I would have said cops, fire trucks and ambulances...

Move Over When An Emergency Vehicle is Stopped With Lights Flashing

The Move Over Act requires drivers to, as soon as it is safe, to move over, away from the side of the road where the emergency vehicle or Wrecker is stopped, one lane before passing. This must be done in a safe manner. If it cannot be made safely the vehicle must be slowed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit before passing the emergency vehicle or wrecker.

Notice that "wreckers" are included in the Move Over Act. So long as the amber lights are on you must move over. Note also that emergency vehicles also must have there lights on to require the move over behavior.

When an authorized emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked or a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe [must move over or slow down...]
Don't read too much into this. If their lights are on in a fashion other than just driving (flashers, blinkers, etc.) consider it to fall under this statute. Arguing that the wrecker was not "performing a recovery" will probably not work.

Finally, if traffic is tight trying to cram your way into the next lane is not safe. If there is an additional police vehicle there it may be watching for Move Over Law violators. They can also get you for failure to yield if the day has been slow. Simply slow down. As soon as you pass the emergency vehicle you can start to speed up and be on your way.

- is an Orlando attorney practicing criminal defense. He represents clients seeking criminal record expungements throughout the state of Florida and all traffic infractions/charges in Central Florida.

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