Like most of the readers of this blog, I spend a LOT of time behind the wheel. And like many of you, I think I’m a skilled, smart driver and aware of the driving laws in California–my home state–and elsewhere.
But here’s something I did NOT know.
Nearly all 50 states have recently enacted “Move Over” laws to help save the lives of police officers and other roadside emergency personnel.
In most states, these laws require that whenever an emergency vehicle is parked on the side of the road with its lights flashing, drivers approaching the emergency must move over into the next available lane to pass. If that’s not possible, you must slow down to least 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit while passing the emergency vehicle.
If you don’t, you’re subject to a fine. In California, the maximum fine is $50, while in Texas, it’s $200. But in Georgia and Tennessee, it can go as high as $500. There are only three states that do not have “Move Over” laws on the books: New York, West Virginia and Hawaii. (Check for specific state laws here.)
So the next time you see a roadside emergency, slow down and move over. It’s the law. And who needs a ticket and a fine these days?