Trooper on a mission to educate others about 'move over' law
By Jackie Orozco, Reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A life-changing crash gave a Florida State Highway trooper a new mission in life: educate others about Florida's Move Over law.
Every January, FHP campaigns to spread awareness on how drivers must move over when a patrol car or emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road. Trooper Dave Rodriguez nearly lost his life 2 years ago on the State Road 528 and McCoy Road, because a driver failed to move over.
"I consider myself very lucky, I could've been dead very easily, and I actually was dead," said FHP trooper Dave Rodriguez.
The morning of January 26, 2012 is a day Rodriguez will never forget.
"I was brought back to life, thank God, by a Good Samaritan," he said.
As Rodriguez was leaving the traffic scene a car slammed into his motorcycle. The motorcycle broke his legs, his right arm, and pelvis.
"I woke up the sun was glaring in my eyes. I just felt like my whole body was getting burned from head to toes, a horrible feeling," said Rodriguez.
His scars are daily reminders about teaching others the importance of the Move Over Law.
"When you see their flashing lights, you actually have to move over, keep the lane clear when you're passing them, or if you can't move over slow down to at least 20 miles under the speed limit," said Rodriguez.
At the beginning of the year, FHP beefs up enforcement, citing drivers if they fail to move over. Rodriguez, a 15-year veteran of the force, says if he can teach one driver to respect the law, it'll be one less trooper in the hospital.
"I've touched a lot of people, just telling them my story, and I hope to reach a lot of people and let them know the dangers."
If you don't abide by the Move Over law, you can get a $60 fine and three points on the driver's license.