What Are Move Over Laws?

All but seven states have enacted Move Over laws. A Move Over law requires motorists to switch lanes and/or slow down when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle parked or stopped on a roadway. If you are asking questions such as, is it illegal to not give way to an emergency vehicle?. What do I need to know about Move Over Laws? You can find out more just by reading further.

All About Move Over Laws

Most states have two separate Move Over laws — one that applies in situations where emergency vehicles are approaching en route to an emergency and another that specifies what precautionary measures drivers must take when they pass a stationary emergency vehicle.

When an emergency vehicle is approaching you from behind, you should:

  • Give the right away to emergency vehicles
  • Immediately move to the right-side edge of the road when an emergency vehicle is approaching
  • Remain stationary at the side of the road until the emergency vehicle has passed

For this rule to apply, state laws typically require that all emergency vehicles have flashing lights and sirens on.

When it comes to passing stationary emergency vehicles, laws state that drivers must exit the lane right away adjacent to a stopped emergency, utility service, or highway maintenance vehicle with flashing lights. If it is not safe to switch lanes, the driver must slow down to a safe and reasonable speed but should also be ready to stop.

Furthermore, some states require drivers to only reduce their speed as necessary instead of actually changing lanes when they are coming up on a parked emergency, utility, or maintenance vehicle.

Move Over Law Tickets

Move-over violations are considered traffic infractions. Depending on the state you reside in, the consequences of such tickets will vary. However, motorists convicted of such things can expect to pay a fine between $30 and $500. If this is your first violation, the fine is typically at the lower end.

In some states, these types of violations can also result in a short jail sentence.

A move-over ticket typically results in a couple of points being assessed against your driving record as well. However, this depends on the situation, since most motorists can probably just avoid these points by completing traffic school.

Finally, if you are considering fighting a move-over ticket, it really just depends on the circumstances of your case. You can start by looking at the statute that you have been accused of violating. Once you have become familiar with the law, you may be able to find a couple of holes in the government’s case.