A very dramatic video in the news this week (below) reveals two very important facts that every driver should be aware of: (1) Our dedicated Florida Highway Troopers and other first responders are so dedicated to our safety that they put themselves in harms way every day for us, and (2) all drivers need to slow down when approaching emergency personnel doing their jobs on the road.
Trooper Mithel Patel spotted an out-of-control car approaching and pushed a citizen out of the way before he was struck and flung up into the air. Fortunately he was not seriously injured and the man he pushed to safety credits the trooper with saving his life. This video may be disturbing to some:
This is a perfect example of why Florida Statute 316.126 is so important and every Florida driver should be aware of what the statute says and should obey it at all times. Known as the “Move Over” statute, it pertains to slowing down and moving over when drivers approach emergency vehicles like police cars and fire-rescue vehicles stopped along the side of the road. The statute says if the speed limit is 25 mph or over you must slow to 20 mph and if the limit is 25 or under, you must slow to 5 mph.
Also, many people are not aware that the law also covers tow truck drivers and sanitation trucks and personnel. According to CNN Business the death rate for sanitation workers is higher than the rate for firemen and police officers.
The most common excuse police officers hear when a driver gets into a serious accident is “I was running late.” There is nothing more important than your personal safety and that of our brave public servants who go to work every day to protect our lives. The least we can do is show respect for their lives and slow down. Wherever you’re going will be there if you’re a few minutes late.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with people involved in serious accidents for over 20 years and we urge everyone to slow down and drive carefully. If you are in an accident and have questions, we’re here to help. Call us at (954) 356-0006.