January is Move Over Month and the Florida Highway Patrol wants to remind drivers that Florida law requires vehicles to move over a lane for emergency and service vehicles.
FHP officials and others will hold a press conference Monday morning at 9 a.m. to discuss this important law and the tragic consequences of not following it.
Not only does the law require vehicles to move over a lane for emergency and service vehicles, motorists must slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit if it is unsafe to move over.
The law also requires vehicles to move over a lane for sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles, construction or maintenance vehicles, and tow trucks.
According to a news release, moving over gives law enforcement, emergency first responders, and other service vehicles a safe space to do their jobs and the law significantly increases the safety of Florida roadways.
Speakers will include:
FHP Lieutenant Tara Crescenzi will be there to discuss what the agency is seeing regarding motorists failing to move over.
District Five Director of Transportation Operations Charles Heffinger will also share the importance of moving over for all emergency and service vehicles.
Brooke Lawrence, mother of Austin Gayne, a tow truck driver who was only 24 years old when he was tragically killed while assisting with a crash on State Road 408 will discuss the devastation her family continues to face because a driver failed to follow a law.
Dennis Johnson, the owner of Johnson’s Wrecker Service, will discuss the loss of two of its tow truck drivers over the last two years.
Gayne, who worked for Johnson, was killed Feb. 26, 2021 and Paul Steven Paez was killed on the Florida Turnpike while towing vehicles from a crash scene on November 10, 2022.
On Feb. 26, the Lake Eola Fountain and Amway Center will display yellow lights in honor of Austin and all the other fallen tow truck operators.
The Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville will also display yellow and black lights.