Violating Move-Over Laws May Result in Heavy Fines-Truth! & Fiction!

Violating Move-Over Laws May Result in Heavy Fines-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Various emails that warn drivers about a new Move-Over Law that became effective on January 01, 2010.   The email says that failure to slow down or move over when encountering emergency response or law enforcement vehicles could result in heavy fines.  One example says that this is a new law in the state of California and mentions a motorist who was fined $754, three points were added to his driving record and was ordered to appear in court.

The Truth:
A move over law requires motorists to slow down, approach with caution or pull over when encountering an emergency or law enforcement vehicle with flashing lights on the road.  There are such laws in most states throughout the United States., referenced in the emails, is a real web site that educates drivers on the need to slow down and move over in order to protect law enforcement and emergency responders.
Fines for violations vary from state to state.  Visitors to the Move over America web site can check their local laws and fines simply by clicking the link to their home state.  Some states may fine violators as low as $40, others have fines as high as $500 and include jail time.

The move over law is not new in the state of California but it was amended on New Years Day, 2010.  The fine for failure to approach with caution and not pass on an adjacent lane of an emergency or law enforcement vehicle with flashing lights in the Golden State is $50 according to California State Bill 240 which amended Section 21809 of the California State Vehicle Code .   Click for California State Bill 240.

Currently, there are no move-over laws in Hawaii, New York, and Washington DC.

Some municipalities may add an assessment fee to state fines which could increase fines considerably.

A forwarded email version gives the example of the sender’s son returning from a Wal-mart on Pleasant Hill who failed to change lanes while passing a police car from Duluth, Georgia on the side of the road performing a routine traffic stop.  The email said the son was given a $745 fine, three points on his driving record and mandated to court.   The fine in Georgia can go up to as much as $500 for this violation.

There is also a petition box on the Move Over America web site for visitors to encourage legislators of states without move over laws to enact them .

updated 11/08/10