Multiple states adopt, modify, `move over` rules
05/29/2012 - 10:56:34 am
According to AAA, 49 states have implemented similar safety zone rules. Hawaii is the lone holdout.
The Aloha State is poised to end its distinction as the only state not to mandate the “move over” rule.
A bill on Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s desk would give a one-lane leeway to emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, that are parked along roadsides with lights flashing. If unable to move over, drivers would be required to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance.
Violations would be treated like a simple moving violation.
HB2030 garnered the votes needed for passage this year in response to two recent traffic fatalities in Honolulu involving police officers.
A new law in Alabama lengthens the list of protected personnel to include utility service vehicles.
In Connecticut, a new law clarifies existing rules that require travelers to make way for emergency personnel on the side of roadways with at least three lanes in each direction. Starting Oct. 1, two lane roadways will be included in the protection.
Rep. Russ Morin, D-Wethersfield, said the move-over law is an important tool for road safety.
“Police, firefighters and highway workers should not have to dodge speeding vehicles while doing their jobs,” Morin said in a recent statement. “When we move over and slow down, we give them a safe space to work.”
Utah lawmakers have acted to stiffen fines for violators. Already in effect, the new rule requires offenders to attend a four-hour live classroom defensive driving course. Failure to attend could result in loss of driving privileges for 90 days.
And in Missouri, a lengthy transportation bill on the governor’s desk includes a provision to add state transportation emergency response vehicles and motorist assist vehicles to the listed of protected vehicles.
“We need to give the same courtesy and respect to our transportation employees, who keep our roads safe and clear,” stated Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar.
By Keith Goble, Land Line Magazine state legislative editor