WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — Moving over for law enforcement while on the highway isn’t just a good idea–in Virginia, it’s the law. A recent expansion made the fines for violating the law a bit heftier.
An amended version of the Move Over law went into effect July 1, which heightens the punishment for failing to yield for emergency vehicles–including law enforcement, ambulances, fire rescue vehicles, and Virginia Department of Transportation vehicles.
Under the new law, there will be a reckless driving charge for anyone who fails to move over when law enforcement is on the shoulder of the road. Failure to yield for other emergency vehicles will result in a traffic violation.
According to Lt. Warren Gosnell, who heads the Traffic Division of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, failing to move over can have serious consequences for emergency personnel.
“Here in Frederick County just over the past two, two and a half years, we’ve had no less than six vehicles of ours involved in crashes where people have failed to move over,” he said.
Under Virginia law, if a driver is unable to switch lanes, they must slow down. Gosnell recommends doing both for safe measure.