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Move Over. It’s the Law

Get the Facts: Move Over. It’s the Law.

Learn these facts about the “Move Over” law so you can do your part to protect those who protect you. It’s not just a law-it’s the right thing to do.

Q1) I’ve never heard of the “Move Over” law – what is it?
A1) Laws vary from State to State, but in general: When an emergency vehicle using any visual signal is stopped or parked on or next to a roadway, drivers approaching the emergency vehicle should (1) make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle; or (2) if unable to safely make a lane change, slow down to a reasonable speed for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.

Q2) How do I know if my State has a “Move Over” law?
A2) All 50 States have enacted “Move Over” laws, but very few Americans know they exist! Don’t be one of the 71% who’s unaware of these laws. Visit to find out your State’s law.

Q3) If I violate the “Move Over” law, what is the penalty?
A3) Fines for violations of the “Move Over” law vary from State to State, but can be as high as $500. In some States, violation of the law is punishable by jail time as well.

Q4) Is it really that unsafe to drive next to a law enforcement officer stopped on the side of a highway?
A4) Yes. Making a traffic or emergency stop on the side of our Nation’s highways is one of the most dangerous things law enforcement officers do in the line of duty. In 2013 alone, 46 law enforcement officers were struck and killed in traffic-related incidents. And 26 officers have been killed on our highways in the first half of this year-a 37-percent increase over the first half of 2013.

Q5) What is the number one cause of law enforcement deaths?
A5) Traffic incidents. From 2003 to 2013, 138 law enforcement officers were struck and killed on our Nation’s highways.

Q6) Why am I hearing so much about this law now? Is it new?
A6) No. In fact, the first “Move Over” law originated in South Carolina in 1996 after a paramedic was struck and killed while responding to a crash. Since then, every State has enacted such laws, including Hawaii, which in 2012 became the 50th and final State to enact “Move Over” legislation. Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with these laws, so NHTSA is spreading the word.

This article was written by:

Staff writers for Driving Dynamics are professional journalists. Industry-specific information is reviewed by topic experts to ensure accuracy. Contact the author

- has written 57 posts on Driving Dynamics.

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