Morning crash on I-95 is reminder in importance of Florida’s “Move Over” law

Requires drivers to give emergency vehicles space

By: Charlie Keegan

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Drivers who didn’t follow the state’s move over law accounted for 204 car crashes in 2016, according to preliminary data from the Florida Highway Patrol. That number is more than totals in 2013, 2014 or 2015.

Troopers continue to investigate the exact cause of a fatal crash on Interstate 95 Friday morning. But they determined a Camaro crashed into a Road Ranger’s vehicle that was on the shoulder in Lake Worth.

Authorities want to remind drivers the Move Over law says drivers need to move over one lane, or slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit, when they pass a tow truck, police car, ambulance, emergency or service vehicle with its lights flashing.

Every time a truck pulls out of Emerald Towing’s yard, Tom Coyle holds his breath.

“They are always at risk,” he said.

Tow truck operators come back nearly every day and tell him a story of a driver who didn’t move over.

“When you see the flashing lights, it’s like moths to a flame and we’re all curious, but we have to curb that curiosity,” explained Coyle.

Emerald Towing partnered with other tow companies to create the Tower’s with a Heart nonprofit to raise awareness about moving over. It places advertisements on billboards and buses.

Drivers west of Delray Beach said they regular see drivers break the law, proof there’s a need for more awareness.

“They just keep going at high speed like the siren is not even there,” said Anita.

Joy Devack admitted she found out about the law the hard way.

“[The officer] said, ‘Don’t you know the move over law?’ and I said, ‘No,’ ” she remembered getting pulled over three years ago.

The words “Move Over” are everywhere around Emerald Towing. From the tow trucks to the shirts employees wear. Coyle hopes the reminder saves lives.

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