TAMPA — Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies, state troopers and Tampa Police officers are staging a campaign on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway this week to remind drivers of Florida's Move Over Act.
Under the law:
• Drivers on a two-lane road — one with one lane of traffic in each direction — must slow to 20 mph below the speed limit when passing a public service vehicle that has stopped with its lights flashing.
• If the speed limit is 20 mph or lower, drivers must slow to 5 mph or slower.
• On an interstate or multiple-lane road, drivers must move over one lane, clearing the lane closest to the public service vehicle. If they're unable to safely change lanes, they must slow to 20 mph below the speed limit.
• As always, directions given by law enforcement officers at the scene take precedence over the act's requirements.
The penalty for breaking the law is a $150 fine. Implemented in 2002 to protect public service and emergency workers, the law was broadened as of July 1 to include sanitation and utility vehicles.
Move Over laws are part of a national campaign, passed in ever state so far except Hawaii and Washington D.C. Moveoveramerica.com lists 164 officers killed by passing vehicles from 1999 to 2010.
"It is hoped that through aggressive enforcement we will raise awareness, improve safety, and reduce the risks to the personnel we require to investigate crashes, enforce traffic laws," read a statement posted to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office page on Facebook, "and keep our traffic corridors flowing for everyone's benefit."