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Orlando Car Accident Injury Lawyer: Florida Move over Law

How to Avoid Car Accidents with Florida Law Enforcement

Move Over, Its the Law. Driving on Florida roads is very dangerous. It gets more and more dangerous every day. It is sad and ironic that the police, the very people who are trying to make the roadways safer for the rest of us, are therefore at an even greater danger. Law enforcement officers are often confronted with the dangerous situtation of pulling a vehicle over to the side of the road.

Terrrible accidents happen too often where a motorist hits the officer as he or she is walking to the vehicle. The statistics are sobering,
there is an average of over 700 accidents per year in which someone hits a law enforcement vehicle stopped on the road side. There have
been far too many serious injuries and deaths that occur from these accidents.

Very few people know that Florida has a law that requires motorists to change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle or a
wrecker displaying flashing lights. Florida Statute 316.126 states that mototists must change lanes when approaching emergency vehicles
pulled over on the side of the road and slow to a speed of 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit. This is a law that
everyone should be aware of, yet close to 90% of Floridians are unaware of it.

This law is obviously important because it is designed to protect our law enforcement officers. Without our officers patroling the roadways
in an effort to make them safer, the already dangerous roads would be much more dangerous. In addition to the important public policy aimed at protecting our officers, this law has another important effect.

There is a doctrine in the law called Negligence Per Se. Negligence per se stands for the proposition that an act is considered
negligent because it violates a statute (or regulation). In order to prove negligence per se, the plaintiff must show that (1) the defendant
violated the statute, (2) the statute is a safety statute, (3) the act caused the kind of harm the statute was designed to prevent, and
(4) the plaintiff was within the zone of risk. In Florida, negligence per se creates a presumption of negligence.

Florida Statute 316.126 is designed to protect law enforcement officers. If a motorist crashes into a law enforcement officer in violation of
Florida Statute 316.126, then a presumtion arises that the person was negligent. Therefore, if a motorist is unaware of this law and hits an
officer that motorist could be surprised to learn that there is already a presumption that he or she was negligent simply by not changing lanes.
Please tell your friends and family to change lanes and slow down when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

Check our experienced Daytona Beach Auto Accident Attorneys for further help needed at the Law Firm of Zimmet & Quarles. P.L.


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