About “Move Over” Laws

The majority of motorists are aware that they are required to move over when an emergency vehicle flashing their lights are seen on the roadway. However, not many are aware that when an emergency service vehicle is parked on the shoulder of the road, motorists are expected to move over or slow down.

All 50 states passed the legislation that requires drivers to take precautionary measures when approaching a parked ambulance, fire truck or a police vehicle. Some states also designate other vehicles that fall under the emergency service category.

When the road has four or more lanes, vehicles are required to move into the lane furthest away from the shoulder of the road opposite of the emergency vehicle. If the roadway has only two lanes, in most instances, the driver is required to reduce their speed by 20 mph less than the posted speed limit. Failure to obey the law punishes motorists with a monetary fine. Some states also impose jail sentences.

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