Crime

Move over when emergency vehicles are on the roadside — it’s the law

FHP trooper critically hurt in Dolphin Expressway accident

Trooper Carlos Rosario is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital after being hit by a driver who lost control of their vehicle.
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Trooper Carlos Rosario is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital after being hit by a driver who lost control of their vehicle.

Last week, once again, one of our law enforcement officers was injured doing his job. A Florida Highway Patrol officer was critically injured on the Dolphin Expressway March 17 when a driver lost control of their car and struck him and his patrol vehicle.

For the safety of all first responders, I hope to educate readers on Florida’s important “Move Over” law, which requires drivers to slow down or change lanes when an emergency vehicle is parked on the side of the road.

Here is a summary, courtesy of the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:

▪ If you are driving on a road with multiple lanes going in the same direction, and you approach an emergency vehicle parked along the roadway, you must vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.

▪ If you are unable to move over safely, or if you are on a road with only one lane in each direction, you must slow down to a speed 20 mph below the speed limit, unless a law-enforcement officer tells you otherwise. If the speed limit is 20 mph, you must slow down to 5 mph.

If you don't move over, the penalty is about $149, depending on the county, and three points on your license.

Please readers, forward this to everyone you know — the life you save may be of someone who is trying to save a life themselves.

I know that driving in Miami-Dade or anywhere can be a nightmare sometimes, but we really need to take into account that cars kill people and if everyone driving thinks of a car as a weapon, I am sure their driving habits would change. I hold my breath every day on the Palmetto Expressway due to the “almost incidents” that occur in front of me. So please take it slow and be aware of what is happening around you and please let’s be courteous on the road.

Guns left in cars

Here’s an email I received from a reader regarding “not locking” their car and one of her neighbors left a weapon in the car:

Dear Carmen, thank you for all the information you provide for our safety, but unfortunately not everyone listens. This past week, several cars on my block were broken into. Well, they were left opened. Our cameras showed several young men and women being dropped off at the beginning of our street around 2 in the morning. They all started to check to see which cars were open and they found several. What is frightening is that in three of the cars, the owners left their gun in the glove compartments. And we wonder how these kids in the street get guns. Please remind your readers not to leave their weapons in the car.

Taxes due in April

Lastly, I want to remind you that tax deadlines are around the corner in April, so pay attention to phishing scams that pose as the IRS. If you receive suspicious emails forward them to phishing@irs.gov. Remember, never open an attachment or link from unknown source.

On a personal note, I would like to thank many of you for your warm thoughts, prayers and condolences on the loss of Jeff Caldwell, my husband of 47 years. You truly uplifted my soul during this trying time. Again I thank you.

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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