Florida Statute 316.126 Operation of vehicles and actions of pedestrians on approach of authorized emergency vehicle.
(1)(a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, while en route to meet an existing emergency, the driver of every other vehicle shall, when such emergency vehicle is giving audible signals by siren, exhaust whistle, or other adequate device, or visible signals by the use of displayed blue or red lights, yield the right-of-way to the emergency vehicle and shall immediately proceed to a position parallel to, and as close as reasonable to the closest edge of the curb of the roadway, clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, unless otherwise directed by any law enforcement officer.
(b) 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:
1. Shall vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle or wrecker when driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle or wrecker, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, the driver shall reduce speed as provided in subparagraph 2.
2. Shall 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 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, when driving on a two-lane road, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
(c) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall provide an educational awareness campaign informing the motoring public about the Move Over Act. The department shall provide information about the Move Over Act in all newly printed driver’s license educational materials after July 1, 2002.
This section does not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
(2) Every pedestrian using the road right-of-way shall yield the right-of-way until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, unless otherwise directed by any police officer.
(3) Any authorized emergency vehicle, when en route to meet an existing emergency, shall warn all other vehicular traffic along the emergency route by an audible signal, siren, exhaust whistle, or other adequate device or by a visible signal by the use of displayed blue or red lights. While en route to such emergency, the emergency vehicle shall otherwise proceed in a manner consistent with the laws regulating vehicular traffic upon the highways of this state.
(4) Nothing herein contained shall diminish or enlarge any rules of evidence or liability in any case involving the operation of an emergency vehicle.
(5) This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
(6) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as either a moving violation for infractions of subsection (1) or subsection (3), or as a pedestrian violation for infractions of subsection (2).
Florida Statute 316.126 requires drivers nearing stopped emergency vehicles-with lights activated -to either slow down or change lanes.
It requires all motorists approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing to change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if traveling on a multi-lane roadway and if able to do so safely. If the driver is unable to move over or is traveling on a single-lane roadway, the driver is 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.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from the Florida Highway Patrol
What should I do if I see an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road with lights flashing?
When approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing parked on the side of a multi-lane road, you MUST move over by changing lanes away from the emergency vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. Motorists must vacate the lane closest to an emergency vehicle to prevent crashing into the emergency vehicle or any emergency workers performing their jobs in the area.
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.
What if I am not able to move over safely or change lanes away from the emergency vehicle?
If you are unable to move over or change lanes safely, you MUST slow down to at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
If I cannot change lanes safely should I stop my vehicle in the roadway?
No, you must slow down while maintaining a safe speed. You must not stop in the roadway or block the flow of traffic.
What can I do to prevent an accident when approaching an emergency vehicle, traffic congestion, a crash scene, or a construction area?
Stay alert! The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others is to pay attention behind the wheel. If you keep your eyes ahead of you on the road, pay attention to the activity around you (other vehicles, signs, etc.) you will be able to anticipate problems and react more quickly to any potentially dangerous events.
What can happen if I break Florida's Move Over Law?
If you are caught, you will be issued a ticket and have to pay a fine.
More seriously, you could crash into an emergency vehicle or strike an emergency worker, causing serious injury or death. You could injure or kill another person or yourself.