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Injured trooper reminds drivers about the 'move over' law

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-10 13:23:29-05

Florida Highway Patrolman Nicholas Dolan remembers one of the scariest mornings of his life.

He was on Spring Hill Rd in Hernando County performing a routine traffic stop when a woman speeding by hit him and his patrol unit.

"I was just getting ready to close the door and I looked over my shoulder and there she was," said Dolan.

He then turned and pressed his chest up against the unit, hoping she'd miss him. But the woman's Honda hit him right in the side. The crash damaged both vehicles and left Dolan with minor injuries.

"My heart sank. I got a knot in my stomach," he said. "I couldn't go anywhere."

Thankfully the woman in the Honda and the driver Dolan pulled over were not injured.

Dolan said "it was a hard lesson" for the lady driving the Honda. She told him she didn't know about the "move over" law.

In 2018 first responders, construction workers, and tow truck drivers were involved in 231 crashes. Troopers wrote more than 17,000 tickets. Sgt. Steve Gaskins said that all could have been avoided if drivers followed the law.

"Move over! It's been the law since 2002," said Gaskins.

The Move Over law requires drivers to move over a lane when they see stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, utility service vehicles and tow trucks or wreckers. If you're on a two lane road or you can't move over safely, the law requires you to slow to 20mph under the posted speed limit.

January is Move Over awareness month. Troopers, deputies, and officers have increased patrols to make sure drivers are following the law. If you are caught you will get a fine between $150 or $160 depending on the county you're in.

"To avoid a situation like that, move over. It's very simple, " said Gaskins.