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TRAFFIC TUESDAY: The Move Over Law isn’t just for police

You’ve seen the sign displayed on electronic traffic billboards and you’ve probably heard Image result for move over law gathe commercials, but that isn’t enough to make some people MOVE OVER.

You’ve seen the sign displayed on electronic traffic billboards and you’ve probably heard Image result for move over law gathe commercials, but that isn’t enough to make some people MOVE OVER.

Georgia’s Move Over Law requires motorists to move over one lane when an emergency vehicle is on the shoulder of the road. The law was put into place to keep officers and drivers from colliding on the roadside. Unfortunately, the law wasn’t passed until the number people were killed on the road side working in their official capacity.

But the law goes beyond police officers. Utility vehicles, first responders (includes fire and EMS), DOT vehicles, HERO units, and wreckers assisting with an accident clean-up are ALL covered under this law.

According to FBI statistics, traffic crashes claim the lives of more police personnel than any other cause of death in the line of duty

So should you see one of these vehicles on the right shoulder of your lane, MOVE OVER. If you cannot move over, the law requires that you slow down BELOW the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop, if necessary.

If you don’t, you could receive a fine up to $500.


THE LAW:

Move Over Law: Georgia Code, Title 40-6-16.

A. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
1. Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
2. If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
B. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
1. Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
2. If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
C . Violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com.

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