Driver Crashes into Deputy's Patrol Vehicle During Traffic Stop
On November 26, 2022, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Deputy Latham conducted a traffic stop in the 2500 block of SW Highway 484, in Ocala. After contact was made with the driver, the occupants agreed to exit the vehicle while further investigation was conducted. Corporal Marton responded to assist Deputy Latham with his investigation. While standing by with the occupants of the stopped vehicle, Corporal Marton encouraged them to move onto the shoulder of the roadway in order to be out of harm’s way if a passing vehicle were to hit either of the patrol vehicles nearby.
Moments later, Corporal Marton returned to the passenger side of his patrol vehicle and utilized his in-car computer to gather information about the occupants of the vehicle. While standing in the door jamb, another passing vehicle crashed into the rear, driver side of his patrol vehicle. Although he was thrown to the ground by the impact, Corporal Marton was uninjured and speedily responded to render aid to the driver and passenger who were injured.
While it is unfortunate that this accident happened at all, it serves as an important reminder of the need for Florida’s “Move Over” Law. Fortunately, no one lost their life in this case, but far too many emergency workers lose their lives due to the failure of motorists to obey this law.
Florida Statute s. 316.126(1)(b) contains Florida’s Move Over Law. This law applies when you are driving and approach an emergency vehicle (like law enforcement or fire department vehicles), sanitation vehicle, utility service vehicle, wrecker, or road and bridge maintenance or construction vehicle parked or performing tasks on the roadside. When this happens, you need to move over or slow down. If there are two or more lanes of travel, you have to get out of the lane closest to the vehicle, provided it can be done safely. If there is one lane of travel, or if you cannot safely get out of the lane closest to the vehicle, you must slow down – and we mean slow way down. If the speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour or more, you must slow down to 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit. If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, you cannot drive faster than 5 miles per hour. You can read all of the details of the Move Over Law by going to leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&;amp;URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.126.html .
Please, do your part to keep emergency workers and others safe, and remember to Move Over!