VIRGINIA (WDVM) — A law enacted 25 years ago, first in South Carolina and now present in all states, is the Move Over Law, yet 71% of Americans are still unaware of what the law means, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Move Over Law was enacted in Virginia in 2002. By not complying with the law, you could be fined up to $2,500.
“As residents or citizens are driving, and they approach a stopped emergency vehicle and in Virginia, that includes, anyone displaying flashing, blinking, alternating, blue, red or amber lights. So that’s going to be tow trucks, Fire and EMS, police officers. They really should look to see if they can one, slow down, that’s going to be the most important aspect of it, and if it’s safe, to change a lane to a non-adjacent lane and pass with due regard,” said Sergeant Dylan Davenport, spokesperson for the Virginia State Police.
Roadside assistance workers, like AAA, are included in this law.
“These laws are designed to protect emergency responders, police officers, and anyone who is performing emergency aid on the side of the road. Think about this, 70 to 80% of all tow truck operators killed or injured in the United States, were killed while on the side of the road,” stated John Townsend, Manager of Public and Government Affairs AAA Mid-Atlantic.
In 2019, a local AAA tow truck driver was killed in a hit and run incident.
“We lost a tow truck driver in the Washington-Metro area who was administering aid to a motorist whose car had broken down on the side of the road,” said Townsend.
People often tell VSP officers they didn’t know about the law.
“As drivers are going by, frequently, they do not slow down and they do not change lanes. In the traffic stops I’ve made regarding the Move Over Law, frequently I hear from citizens that they either didn’t know or they didn’t think they needed to move over,” expressed Davenport.
By following this law, you can avoid large fines and also keep our emergency responders safe.