HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — In a new PSA, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is urging drivers to follow the state Move Over law. The sheriff shared a video from earlier this month where a deputy was nearly hit by a passing vehicle during a traffic stop.
According to a press release, it happened on May 4 around 9:40 p.m. in the area of N Dale Mabry Highway and Holly Lane in Lutz.
The body camera video shows a white Mercedes hit the side of the deputy's patrol car as he was walking back to it. The sheriff's office identified the deputy as Charles Williams, who was not injured in the incident.
The driver of the Mercedes didn't stop and Deputy William followed her, activating his lights and sirens. The driver still didn't immediately stop but eventually pulled over and told Deputy Williams she didn't see him and didn't realize she hit his vehicle.
In the video, the woman said she heard a "clunk" but thought she hit a rock. The woman was cited for violating the Move Over law.
"Every first responder and roadside worker deserves to make it home to their families without injury at the end of their shift, and dangerous behavior like speeding, distracted driving, or simply failing to move over out of laziness puts their lives at great risk," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We are incredibly thankful that Deputy Williams walked away without a scratch. I hope that other drivers who see his body camera video will think twice the next time they pass someone working alongside the road."
The state law requires drivers to move over a lane when they can safely do so for stopped law enforcement and other first responders, sanitation, utility service vehicles, tow trucks, wreckers, maintenance, or construction vehicles with displayed warning lights.
If you're unable to move over, the law says you must slow down to 20 miles an hour less than the posted speed limit. If the posted limit is 20mph or less, drivers must reduce their speed to 5mph or less.
Violating the law can result in a fine, fees and points on a driver's record.