Ala. "Move-over" law strengthened

The wreckage of an Alabama State Trooper vehicle
The wreckage of an Alabama State Trooper vehicle

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's "move-over" law is being strengthened to protect the lives of its police officers and emergency personnel.

The law requires motorists to literally move-over when passing by emergency responders who have stopped or parked along the roadside with their emergency signals activated.

"The roadside is a trooper's office," said director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety Chris Murphy. "To do our jobs, we must work in close proximity to traffic. This law provides all first responders and emergency workers the safe clearance they need."

The law is being expanded to cover wreckers as well.

If you are driving and you come upon the bright lights of an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, you are required to move over at least one lane. Authorities say if it's not possible to move over you should slow to at least 15 mph below the posted speed limit. If you are in a 20 mph zone or below, you should drop to 10 mph.

A six-month warning and educational period was put into effect on August 1. When it ends officers will have the authority to cite a violator with a $25 fine for a first offense. The fine will increase for subsequent violations.

Alabama's move-over regulations have been in effect since 2006, and many other states have since adopted versions of the law.

More than 150 officers have been killed in the line of duty in the last decade because of collisions while working on the roadside.

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