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MOVE OVER: Deputy nearly struck by passing vehicle

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 22-069


Wednesday May 4, 2022 9:40 PM


N Dale Mabry Highway and Holly Lane Lutz, FL
MOVE OVER: Deputy nearly struck by passing vehicle

In a newly-released public service announcement, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is urging drivers to follow Florida's Move Over Law, after an HCSO deputy was nearly struck by a passing vehicle while performing a traffic stop. The ordeal was captured on his body-worn camera and is featured in the PSA.

At 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Deputy Charles Williams was concluding a traffic stop in the area of N Dale Mabry Highway and Holly Lane in Lutz when the driver of a 2018 White Mercedes struck the side of his vehicle, missing Deputy Williams by inches as he was walking back to his marked patrol vehicle. 

The driver of the Mercedes did not immediately stop, however, Deputy Williams followed the vehicle, activating his lights and siren. He was eventually able to stop the vehicle and make contact with the driver. The driver alleged that she did not see Deputy Williams in the roadway and did not realize she hit his patrol vehicle, despite his lights being activated and admitting to hearing a "clunk" as she passed his vehicle. Thankfully, Deputy Williams was uninjured.

Both Deputy Williams and a responding deputy who investigated the crash reminded the driver of the importance of slowing down and moving over when first responders are working alongside the roadway. The driver was cited for violation of the Florida Move Over Law.

Florida law requires drivers to Move Over a lane when they can safely do so for stopped law enforcement and other first responders, sanitation, utility service vehicles, tow trucks, wreckers, maintenance, or construction vehicles with displayed warning lights.

If a driver is unable to switch lanes due to traffic, the law mandates that drivers must reduce their speed while passing emergency vehicles, slowing down to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit or 5 mph less when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less.

Violation of the Move Over law can result in a fine, fees, and points on your driving record. For more information, see section 316.126, Florida Statutes.

"Every first responder and roadside worker deserves to make it home to their families without injury at the end of their shift, and dangerous behavior like speeding, distracted driving, or simply failing to move over out of laziness puts their lives at great risk," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We are incredibly thankful that Deputy Williams walked away without a scratch. I hope that other drivers who see his body camera video will think twice the next time they pass someone working alongside the road."

Sheriff Chronister's Move Over PSA can be viewed by clicking here.