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Understanding the “Move Over” law

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Traffic Violations |

In Virginia, the “Move Over” law protects emergency workers and law enforcement officers on the road. The goal is to create a safer environment for those working on the side of the road, and it is important for all drivers to understand what it is.

Details of the “Move Over” law

Many drivers are familiar with basic traffic laws, but the specifics of the “Move Over” law are less well-known. When approaching a stationary vehicle with flashing lights on a multi-lane road, drivers must move over to a lane not adjacent to the stopped vehicle. If it is not safe or possible to change lanes, drivers must slow down to a safe speed and proceed with caution. On two-lane roads, where moving over is not possible, slowing down and being cautious is required.

Penalties for violating the “Move Over” law

Failing to comply with the “Move Over” law can lead to significant penalties:

  • First offense: A fine of up to $250.
  • Subsequent offenses: Fines increase with repeated violations and can result in a misdemeanor charge.
  • Severe consequences: In cases where a violation leads to injury or death, more severe charges and penalties apply, potentially including jail time.

Why is the “Move Over” law important?

The “Move Over” law is of utmost importance for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it serves to protect lives by decreasing the likelihood of accidents involving emergency workers and law enforcement officers who risk their lives to ensure public safety. Additionally, the law helps in reducing accidents by establishing a buffer zone around stationary vehicles, thereby preventing collisions and subsequent accidents. Furthermore, it raises awareness among drivers, prompting them to be more mindful of their surroundings and the presence of emergency personnel on the road.

Understanding the broader impact

The “Move Over” law is more than just a rule; it is a vital safety measure for protecting those who serve our communities. By understanding and following this law, drivers can help create a safer environment on the roads for everyone.

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