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Deputies Eye Drivers Near Emergency Vehicles

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. -- The Lake County Sheriff's Office this week will be closely monitoring motorists' behavior around emergency vehicles as part of its participation in a statewide safety campaign.

The campaign hopes to educate drivers about the "Move Over" Act, which requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle stopped on Florida highways.

While driving on highways with two or more lanes in each direction of travel, drivers approaching an emergency vehicle parked on a roadway are required to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle as soon as they can safely do so, according to sheriff's Sgt. John Herrell.

When approaching an emergency vehicle parked on a two-lane roadway, drivers are required to slow to at least 20 mph less than the posted speed limit, or to 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less, Herrell said.

The law applies to any emergency vehicle with its flashing lights activated, including law-enforcement vehicles, fire vehicles, ambulances and tow trucks.

The current penalty for a "Move Over" law violation in Lake County is a $93.50 fine and 3 points added to the violator's drivers license.

CONTACT: Helen Eckinger and Christine Show of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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