January is 'Move Over' month - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

January is 'Move Over' month

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – Cars whizzed by a Florida Highway Patrol car involved in a traffic stop. State law requires vehicles to move over a lane, but it's not always followed.

"All the time," explained FHP Trooper Lester Escaran. "People failing to move over whether were on the left shoulder or the right shoulder people fail to move over for us. If they can't move over they still fail to slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit for us."

According to FHP, Move Over violations result in more than 100 crashes per year on Florida roadways, putting motorists and those who work along the roadways at risk.

Escaran says drivers not knowing what to do are always on his mind. "It kind of puts us in fear for our lives every day when we do this job, Escaran said. "Having to deal with the traffic driving past us at a high rate of speed who can possibly hit us at any point in time and take our lives."

From 2012 to 2014, crashes increased 41 percent and citations increased 68 percent for motorists failing to move over. It's not just troopers drivers need to move over for, state law requires vehicles to move over a lane for emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles or wreckers.

"It doesn't feel too good," said Road Ranger Lester Burzynski. "If you go where people are driving 70 miles per hour you gotta throw those cones out and stop the traffic. It's not pleasant, it's really hard."

Burzynski works out of the same location where Road Ranger Arnold Metellus worked. Metellus was hit and killed while assisting a driver in October 2014. As a husband and father, Burzynski says he thinks about the dangers daily.

"Of course you go every day and you never know if you're going to come or not it depends. You never know what's gonna happen," Burzynski said. "Please slow down or if you can move a lane over."

If a driver cannot move over, they should slow down 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. In addition to endangering law enforcement, first responders, public servants and other motorists, failing to move over can result in fines and points on a driving record. The citation for violating Move Over in Palm Beach County is $166.

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