Move Over Law Or Traffic Ticket Entrapment Scheme
More than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed since 1999 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. To lower that deadly toll, a new coalition of traffic safety and law enforcement groups is launching a nationwide public awareness campaign to protect emergency personnel along our nation’s roadsides (source).
“Move Over, America” is a partnership originally founded in 2007 by the National Safety Commission, the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Association of Police Organizations. Most recently, the partnership has also received the full support of the American Association of State Troopers. The campaign is the first nationally coordinated effort to educate Americans about “Move Over” laws and how they help protect the law enforcement officers who risk their lives protecting the public.
According to a national poll by Mason Dixon Polling & Research, sponsored by the National Safety Commission:
- 71 percent of Americans have not heard of “Move Over” laws;
- 86 percent support enacting “Move Over” laws in all 50 states; and
- 90 percent believe traffic stops and roadside emergencies are dangerous for law enforcement and first responders.
SOURCE-Move Over America
Florida law requires drivers to “move over” if they are approaching a law enforcement or emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road with lights flashing.
In January, the Florida Highway Patrol is going to do what it can to make sure people understand the law. Florida Highway Patrol Captain Nancy Rasmussen in Tallahassee explains why it’s important that a driver know when it’s time to change lanes.
Move Over Law: Public awareness or traffic ticket trap?
Police agencies call it “public education.” Drivers call it entrapment.
But no matter what you call it, the ‘Move Over’ campaign is about to get more aggressive, spreading from highways and crowded roadways to such places as inside state parks. The Florida Highway Patrol jump-started its enforcement effort early this month, and a series of other agencies are planning to join them in February.
Motorists who don’t move to another lane away from a stopped patrol car, emergency vehicle or tow truck will be handed a $165 ticket. (source)
Barry Weinberg, a Wilton Manors chiropractor, found that out the hard way when he took his son to John U. Lloyd Beach Park. He and nearly two dozen other state park visitors were snared last week by officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission targeting Move Over Law violators inside the park.
“I felt victimized,” said Weinberg, who claims he followed the law.
“It felt like my family and I were victims of a traffic ticket entrapment scheme. I was inside of a park.”
Officials say the special detail was designed to make park visitors aware of the 11-year-old state law that requires drivers to move over or – if they can’t change lanes right away – to slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
The law does not specify that an officer must be in the middle of a traffic stop or emergency, opening the door to police traps, critics complain.
But officials say such sting operations are the most effective way to make the public aware on the dangers emergency workers face on the roadways.
“Officer safety is very important and we understand the severity of the issue,” said traffic ticket lawyer Ted Hollander. “However, if you are trying to make this into a public education thing, then why not issue warnings instead of tickets and not make it appear to the public like this is a money-making thing.”
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