'Move Over' law to be enforced after trooper killed

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Florida continues to mourn the loss of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, who lost her life earlier this month in a crash on Interstate 75, law enforcement agencies around the state announced Monday they're designating June as "Move Over - Slow Down - Save a Life" month.

"The safety of the public and Florida's law enforcement officers traveling and working our highways, roads, streets and interstates is paramount, this month and every month," said James Preston, president of the Florida State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police.

The fines associated with the "Move Over" law could be upwards of $150.

"Unforutnately it takes a tragedy, something like that to bring everybody back together," FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan said. "(Richard's) death was to the dedicated service and will not be done in vain."

Law enforcement officers who are working on Florida's roadways face great danger from distracted drivers. To better protect officers, the statewide law enforcement organizations are calling upon all law enforcement officers in the state to educate the public and enforce the "Move Over" law throughout the state.

The law requires drivers to:

On a two-lane roadway, slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit;
On a two-lane roadway, slow to 5 mph if the speed limit is 20 mph or less; and
On an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes of travel in the same direction, drivers must vacate the lane closest to any emergency or law enforcement vehicle parked along the roadway as soon as it is safe to do so. If drivers are not able to safely move over, they must slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.

"As the summer travel season gets fully underway, please remember to slow down and move over for our public safety personnel working along our roadways. This simple act will save many lives," said John Rivera, president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.