NewsRegion St Lucie County

Actions

St. Lucie County, FHP step up efforts to enforce 'Move Over' law

Violators can expect fines, points on their licenses
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office Move Over law campaign
Posted at 2:29 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 17:45:24-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office conducted a public awareness campaign Tuesday to remind drivers of the importance of abiding by Florida's "Move Over" law.

Chief Deputy Brian Hester said the department is focusing on educating drivers that tow trucks, road rangers and construction workers all fall under the law.

Tony DiFrancesco with Tri-County Towing said his drivers sometimes feel like sitting ducks on the highway.

"We've had quite a few of our vehicles get hit in the last year," DiFrancesco said.

Tony DiFrancesco of Tri-County Towing
Tony DiFrancesco of Tri-County Towing says tow truck drivers can feel helpless trying to work on the highways amid speeding vehicles.

In fact, one of them was hit by a drunk driver.

"You never know from one minute to the next who's going to move over, who will run into the side of you. You always have your eye on what you're trying to do and the vehicle that's coming down the roadway," DiFrancesco said.

Officials say the speed of the vehicles can create a scary situation.

"When you're traveling at speeds of 70 and 80 mph down a highway, anything can happen," said St. Lucie County Chief Deputy Brian Hester.

This week, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol are teaming up to remind drivers of the state's "Move Over" law.

Chief Deputy Brian Hester with the St. Lucie County Sheriff Office
Chief Deputy Brian Hester with the St. Lucie County Sheriff Office wants to remind drivers that the "Move Over" law also pertains to tow trucks and other utility vehicles.

The initiative involves not just first responder vehicles but tow trucks, utility and construction vehicles as well.

"When you approach one of those vehicles on the side of the road, if it's safe to do so, you move over at least one lane. If it's not safe to do so, then you slow down at least 20 mph under the posted speed limit," Hester said.

DiFrancesco and drivers like him appreciate the effort of law enforcement and want to know they can continue to do their jobs safely if others follow the rules of the road.

"It helps all of us, law enforcement, tow truck drivers, construction workers, so we can go home safely to our kids," DiFrancesco said.

Violators of the law can expect fines and points on their licenses.

Forty-one "Move Over" citations were issued Tuesday as the campaign kicked off, and another 40 warnings were given.