In July of 2003, the Georgia state legislature passed the “Move Over Law” to help prevent the injury and fatalities of the highway patrol, HERO workers, and the motorists they are assisting. More than 16 years later and many of Georgia’s motorists are still are unaware of the law and its ability to keep people safe and save lives.
At its simplest form, the Mover Over Law requires drivers to slow their speed and move over a lane away from any incident occurring on the side of the highway. This includes any time an officer, first responder, or emergency worker is stopped on the side of the road with their lights engaged and flashing.
Why was the law passed?
The Move Over Law was created due to the high number of injuries and fatalities to officers and emergency workers while helping motorists on the side of the road. More than one-fourth of all officers that are killed in traffic crashes are caused by oncoming vehicles hitting them while attending to a motorist on the side of the highway. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of causalities for police officers in Ga.
What does it do to help?
By affording the space of a highway lane to officers and emergency workers, the Move Over Law provides a safety barrier between the oncoming motorists and the incident at hand. By moving over a lane, you are allowing the space for the officer or first responder to work and move without the worry of an oncoming car.
Is breaking the law punishable?
Absolutely it is. Motorists that disregard the law will be handed a $500 fine for a first-time offense and subsequent offenses can result in much stricter penalties.
What can you do to make a difference?
Georgia’s Move Over Law was designed to help bring safety to patrol officers, HERO emergency workers, and first responders while assisting motorists. But moving over a lane should be followed whenever you see any idle vehicles on the side of the highway. Many times motorists are changing a tire. Wrecker services use the side of the highway to assist stalled cars or hook up vehicles for towing. In heavy rains, drivers will pull off to the side just to wait it out and avoid danger. Whatever the case may be, if you are traveling on the highway and see an incident on the side of the road, slow down and merge over a lane. This simple act can help save countless lives and keep us safe while traveling on Georgia’s busy highway system.
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