We have all witnessed this scenario: you are driving down one of our beautiful Florida roads and up ahead you see a car that has been pulled over by a police officer. The car is on the side of the road and the officer is speaking to the driver while standing between the car and traffic that is passing dangerously close.
If you are like me, you feel that the situation the officer is in during those routine traffic stops is extremely hazardous. Well, it is. There is a law on the Florida books to protect the officers that many Florida drivers do not know about. It is called Florida Statue 316.126(1)(b)
Under the statute, there are two options for action approaching drivers must take to avoid being in violation of the law, possibly receiving a ticket and having points charged against their driving record.
What are these actions? Simply put: move over or slow down.
The statute states that you are to vacate the lane closest to the officer when on roads with two or more lanes moving in the same direction. If you cannot safely accomplish that move, or you are traveling on a two-lane road, you are to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit when passing the officer.
It is important to note the officers are not the only ones protected by the statute. The law is also in force in construction zones when workers are present to help protect them as they work on our roadways.
So the next time you are out on the road and you encounter an officer engaged with a driver on the side of the road, or you enter a construction zone, heed the law that protects those who keep our roadways safe, and move over or slow down.
You will save yourself a ticket, and possibly save a life.