By B.A. Little, Reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org
ALABAMA — A new focus on the Move Over Law is underway due to an Alabama State Trooper’s vehicle being hit by a tractor-trailer this week. According to Macon County EMA Director Frank Lee, the trooper’s vehicle was totaled. Thankfully, there were no injuries; however, that’s not always the case.
Law Enforcement, First Responders, and those working accidents and traffic stops are all at risk. Too many times, these people have had to save themselves from a tragedy because of careless people “looking” at what is happening instead of having their eyes on the road.
According to Drive Safe America, one of the most dangerous places for police, state troopers, emergency responders and maintenance personnel is on the side of the road. Hundreds each year are injured or killed by motorists while working along the nation’s highways. Alabama’s Move Over Law requires you to safely move over when you see flashing lights on the roadside. And if you can’t move over, slow down!
Fines for a violation of the Alabama Move Over Act: (1) $100 for a first violation; (2) $150 for a second violation; and (3) $200 for a third or subsequent violation.
“The Move Over Law states that when an emergency vehicle using any visual signal is stopped or parked on or next to a roadway, drivers approaching the emergency vehicle should (1) make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle; or (2) if unable to safely make a lane change, slow down to a reasonable speed for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.” (See the entire Alabama Move Over Law below)
Alabama’s Move Over Law
Effective September 1, 2019, Act 2019-520 increases the fine associated with a violation of the Alabama Move Over Act as follows: (1) $100 for a first violation; (2) $150 for a second violation; and (3) $200 for a third or subsequent violation.
Moving over or reducing speed when approaching law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles, etc.
(a) This section shall be known as the “Alabama Move Over Act.”
(b)(1) When an authorized law enforcement vehicle or emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked, when a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside when a utility service vehicle operated by or on behalf of an entity providing utility services displaying any rotating lights, flashing lights, or other visual signals is parked on the roadside while performing tasks associated with the provision of utility services, when a vehicle displaying flashing lights is parked or engaged in the performance of official duties on or along a road, or when a garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle is actively collecting garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling materials on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe, shall do the following:
a. When driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, wrecker, utility service vehicle, vehicle displaying flashing lights, or garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle, the driver shall vacate the lane closest to the law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, wrecker, utility service vehicle, vehicle displaying flashing lights, or garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. If it is not safe to move over, the driver shall slow to a speed that is at least 15 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
b. When driving on a two-lane road, the driver shall move as far away from the law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, wrecker, utility service vehicle, vehicle displaying flashing lights, or garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle as possible within his or her lane and slow to a speed that is 15 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater or travel at 10 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
(c)(1) The Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency shall provide an educational awareness campaign informing the motoring public about this section. The agency shall provide information about this section in all newly printed driver’s license educational materials.
(2) This section shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.