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Drivers are now required to "move over" or "slow down" when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway in Florida. The "Move Over Act", passed during the 2002 session of the Florida Legislature, was signed by Governor Jeb Bush on May 1, 2002.
There are several important provisions concerning this new law. Effective July 1, 2002, on Interstate highways or other highways with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a roadway with their emergency lights activated, are required to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, as soon as it is safe to do so.
When approaching a law enforcement or other authorized emergency vehicle parked on a two-lane roadway with their emergency lights activated, and except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers are required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.
If you are pulled over, remain calm. Try to find a well-lit area that is relatively free from moving traffic. If it is night time, turn on the interior dome light of your car and lower your driver's side window. Lower the volume of your stereo and place your hands on your steering wheel.
When the officer requests your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance, you should advise the officer where the items are and slowly reach for them. It is a good idea to produce these items as soon as possible. Consider using a paperclip to affix these items to your driver's license and placing them together in your wallet. This should increase the speed of retrieving these items and will speed up the amount of time that you have to sit on the side of the road.
Do not argue the violation with the officer on the side of the road. You are entitled to due process for this alleged violation and you can argue your side of the story to a magistrate. Remember, just because you receive a citation does not mean that you are, as far as the state is concerned, guilty.
When prompted, sign the bottom of the citation, with the same style signature which appears at the bottom of your driver's license. You should receive the yellow copy of the citation with an instruction brochure listing your options.
You have three options to take care of a moving citation:
Instances of people posing as police officers are not as common as you might think, but it is prudent to have a plan if you face a situation that you think may be dangerous to you. Follow the tips below if you're worried about the legitimacy of the car pulling you over:
You can be pulled over for exceeding the posted speed limit for any speed over that limit. Tickets may be issued based on the discretion of the individual officer.
Yes. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer has the lawful authority to place you in a controlled position while you are in their custody on a traffic stop.
If you are in danger of being struck by oncoming traffic move the vehicles out of the path of danger. Assess the need for first aid to yourself and any other involved party. Call the police. A report is optional if there are no injuries, there is under $500 worth of combined property damage, and both vehicles can leave on their own after exchanging names and tag numbers.