January 19th, 2011

MOVE OVER LAWS

Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

Utah law requires motorists to slow down and move over one lane if possible when state troopers or other emergency workers are stopped by the side of the  road.

Troopers often work in dangerous conditions like fog or heavy snow

Unfortunately, many motorists don’t observe this law.  Four troopers have been hit in 2011.

“Utah’s move over law is intended to keep law enforcement, EMS, and the motoring public safe on our roadways,” says Trooper Cameron Roden, Law Enforcement Liaison with the Utah Department of Public Safety, Highway Safety Office.
“ It requires drivers that are approaching a stationary emergency or service vehicle to slow down and provide as much space as safely possible.  When able, vehicles should change lanes to allow more space for these potentially dangerous situations.”

The KSL story below explains how careless motorists put other motorists, troopers and other emergency professionals at risk.

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

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Responses to “MOVE OVER LAWS”

  1. I don’t understand why 4 wheelers (cars) don’t move over. It is so annoying. I drive to Wendover every day and I swear there is at least 20 people I see that speed right past people (cops, ems, towtruck,) in the emergency lane. People get the point. Slow down! and, get over!!!

  2. Makes sense to me. Give them some more room

    divorce attorney in st louis at March 18, 2011 2:51 am
  3. I don’t understand how 4 officers have actually been hit. People, no matter who, have a general respect for themselves not to be walking in traffic like they own the road.

    Granted, there are laws (pretty much common knowledge), that help this. I can tell you one thing – if I were a police officer I wouldn’t be putting myself in harms way.

  4. It makes perfect sense to me. Working on the hard shoulder whilst trucks are racing at you at high speed cannot be good for ones health!! We all need to take more care and use common sense in this situation – after all all it takes is a blow out and those officers lives are put at risk.

  5. That sounds like a really needed law. Its sad how many police and people just changing a tire are killed each year from cars careening into them on the freeways.

  6. Whenever i drive on freeways i make sure that i go slow whenever i see some troopers work in heavy fog like sitaution ,but the only problem comes when the vehicles from at rear side gets annoyed when the speed of my car goes slow

  7. As a former LEO, these laws can really help the safety of Officers out there. The feeling of vehicles rushing past your back is a little unnerving while your on a traffic stop or just helping a motorist.

  8. If you have ever changed a tire on the side of the road (like I have), then you will understand the importance of this law. It is hard to fathom that people are so careless, but the data doesn’t lie with 4 officers being hit.

    This is a much needed law, and I for one am glad that it has been put into place. Good job Utah.

  9. In Illinois where I live, the fines for putting law enforcement at risk are very extreme. Thousands of dollars and prison sentences. If they work to protect our law officers, maybe it’s something you should consider.

  10. That is good, its so dangerous to be pulled over on the side when motorist are zooming by. There was a major accident Houston Texas where a 18 wheeler killed a man pulled over to the side..

  11. In Illinois where I live, the fines for putting law enforcement at risk are very extreme. Thousands of dollars and prison sentences. If they work to protect our law officers, maybe it’s something you should consider.

    Totally agreed here!

    Steve R

    ottawa furnace

  12. Very glad to see this much needed law go into effect. Most law enforcement officers risk their lives on a daily basis, for less money than many others make. I’m glad we can give a little something back to them by taking another measure to ensure their safety as much as possible.

  13. It is a good law. After motorists start getting tickets people will then learn the law and everybody will get out of the way of EMS personnel so they can do their jobs safely.

  14. These types of laws can be implemented by force to avoid accidents. Thanks for sharing such a useful safety related law.

  15. This is a great idea, i’ve heard of a few incidents where emergency workers have been hit by passing vehicles because the driver hasn’t be careful

  16. The laws are there for a good reason. most! of the time.

  17. Lest we forget about the tow truck drivers who are killed every day helping motorists as well? Helping them to get to work, or home to their families? I’m a driver with 20+ years experience and all people think is that we’re all uneducated slobs who are illiterate as well. I’ve been hit THREE times and I assure you none were by MY negligence! Two times there was a peace officer behind me with his lights flashing and my beacons on as well. I always ask my customers to either wait in my wrecker or to stand on the other side of the guard rail for their safety. I’ve even had somebody swerve around the rear of my truck only to come back into my lane and clip me while changing a tire! Now do I sound like an uneducated, illiterate slob who drives a “Tow-Mater” looking tow truck? Please, look out for ALL Emergency AND Service Personnel. In some states, like mine, we ARE Emergency Personnel! We may save YOUR LIFE next!

  18. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I hope others will read your comments and be more careful while driving.

    Catherine Higgins at December 16, 2011 10:20 pm
  19. thanks for your post, great idea too! This law is really needed…makes sense

  20. I think it’s a great law. So when was UDOT or the UTHP planning to send out the mass communication to every household in UT to inform us all that this good idea was now a law?? To make this a law and not inform the public in our great state is profoundly disrespectful. I am so glad I just happen on this info – not sure how else I would have known!

  21. Thanks for your comment and yes, the Move Over Law is a very important safety law that protects our state troopers as they work keep our freeways safe. The law is not new. However new penalties have been added since the law was enacted.

    Public outreach to make drivers aware of the law has been thorough and regular since the laws passage. The UHP has conducted regular blitz events where people who don’t obey the Move Over Law are ticketed. Media has run stories about the law also.

    The law is in the safety manual that serves as the basis of drivers license testing too. On page 16 of the 2011 Utah Drivers Handbook find this text: When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights, you must reduce your speed, provide as much space as practical to the emergency vehicle, and if practical and it is safe to do so, make a lane change into a lane away from the emergency vehicle.

    While public information efforts are important, it’s also incumbent on all drivers to be proactive and become informed about the laws governing the road.

    Catherine Higgins at October 3, 2012 3:49 pm
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