According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Georgia Move Over Law requires drivers to move over one lane when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of the highway. If traffic is too heavy to move over safely, the law says drivers should slow down below the posted speed limit instead and be prepared to stop.
This law was developed to protect emergency technicians, DOT workers, HERO Units, and wreckers from being hit while responding to crashes or working on construction projects.
Failing to follow this law can result in a fine upwards of $500. But there’s something more serious than a fine at stake. According to the FBI, traffic crashes claim the lives of more police personnel than any other life-threatening scenario they face. More than one-fourth of law enforcement killed are struck by passing vehicles while they work outside their patrol cars. Reports also show that all types of emergency vehicles have been hit when parked beside a Georgia highway, even with flashing emergency lights.
With stats like that, it’s no wonder Georgia implemented the Move Over Law. And we aren’t the only state with this type of law. There are more than thirty states with official Move Over Laws in effect today.
It’s clear the right course of action is to move over to the adjacent lane if you’re approaching a utility vehicle operating in an official capacity, with or without an official law. It will help to keep motorists, emergency personnel and utility service workers safe. Providing a buffer lane for emergency vehicles reduces the likelihood of yet another serious crash. When the proper clearance is given to public safety vehicles, the margin of safety is greatly increased for emergency personnel, active sanitation workers and utility service workers, as well as motorists and their passengers.