In Florida, you can pass garbage trucks. However, restrictions govern how you can go about passing them. This is because the Move Over law covers sanitation vehicles.
Under the law, garbage trucks should receive the same consideration as emergency vehicles, law enforcement, and utility service vehicles, among others. This law ensures not workers’ safety and that of the drivers they share the road with. Truck accident lawyers can help those invovled in a truck accident if the garbage truck driver failed to act with an approproate level of care.
What Are The Laws Regarding Passing A Sanitation Vehicle?
You have likely encountered a garbage truck while driving your car. As the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) notes, you can put yourself and others at risk if you don’t yield and move over for a vehicle or worker.
During this encounter, you may not have realized that you must consider specific guidelines if the vehicle is stopped or conducting business. You must:
- Vacate the closest lane to the vehicle when it is safe to do so; or
- Slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the speed limit if the posted limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or
- Slow to a speed of 5 miles per hour if the posted speed is 20 miles per hour or less.
If you are on a two-lane road, you must slow down. You also must follow all other traffic laws when passing a garbage truck. Driving on the wrong side of the road or crossing a double yellow line is never allowed. This ensures the safety of everyone, from the garbage truck workers to others on the road.
If you are driving on a normal road or highway and you encounter a garbage truck driving with the normal flow of traffic, then the Move Over law is not in effect.
Penalties For Not Obeying The Move Over Law
If you disregard the law and do not move over, you could be charged with a noncriminal traffic infraction. Normally, this results in a fine that is more than $100. Additional fees can be associated with such an incident, and points will be added to your license.
Points Can Result In A Suspended License
In Florida, a driver can lose their license for a period if they get too many points on their license in a specific amount of time. You could have your license suspended if you acquire:
- 12 points in 12 months
- 18 points in 18 months
- 24 points in 36 months
You could receive points for speeding or reckless driving by violating the Move Over law. Often, these violations result in three or four points on your license.
In addition to points on your license, you could be hit with fees, especially if you are committing a violation for the second or third time. It may feel inconvenient to encounter a garbage truck on the road, but losing your license or suffering financial hardship is much more devastating than waiting for a safe time to pass.
What If A Violation Results In An Accident?
If you do not properly pass a garbage truck, and an accident takes place, there could be serious consequences. Depending on the nature of the accident, you could face fines, points on your license, or even imprisonment.
If you crash into another vehicle, your insurance company could pay all damages, increasing your insurance rates. This is not only the case for garbage trucks. If you were to pass a garbage truck on the wrong side of a two-lane road and crash head-on into another vehicle, you would be at fault.
Injuries To Workers
Injuring sanitation workers because of failing to give them proper space to conduct their job can result in significant penalties. The nature of the incident will ultimately determine how severe your penalties are.
For example, if you hit a worker but they do not suffer any injuries, then there may be no issue. If you hit a worker, and they suffer injuries that require medical expertise, then you will be responsible for any bills or procedures they have.
If you hit a worker and significantly injure or kill them, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. If it is determined that you were in blatant disregard for the law, you could face hefty fines, as well as jail time.
Protect Workers On The Road
Workers making Florida a cleaner and safer place deserve to be treated with care and respect by those they share the road with. If a garbage truck is blocking your route, do not become impatient. This can lead to consequences for you and the worker.
Instead, keep the health and safety of Florida garbage workers in mind and always follow the Move Over law. This can prevent you from running into legal trouble, potentially raising your insurance rates, and suffering financial strain.
You can pass garbage trucks in Florida, but you must do so in a safe manner for everyone you share the road with.
Contact Us Today – We Can Help You Understand Florida’s ‘Move Over’ Law
If you have been in a garbage truck accident or given a ticket for violating Florida’s Move Over law, an attorney from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine might be able to help you. We can deal with an insurance company on your behalf and protect your rights and interests while seeking a favorable outcome.
If you believe you were treated unfairly or that the garbage truck committed an infraction, we can review the situation and advise you on your next steps. We can explain Florida’s Move Over law and if you can pass garbage trucks, and we will answer your questions. Contact us for a free consultation today.
We Can Help.