October 19th is National Move Over Awareness Day, and if you’re not sure what the law entails, you’re not alone. According to a national poll by Mason Dixon Polling & Research, 71% of Americans have not heard of “Move Over” laws. But thanks to holidays like this one, it’s never too late to learn and adopt safe driving habits that encourage motorists to responsibly share the road with first responder vehicles!
What Is National Move Over Awareness Day?
National Move Over Day began with the hard work and perseverance of the Arizona Professional Towing and Recovery Association, who wanted to promote safety for Arizona towers and bring awareness to the risk first responders face daily on the roadway.
Since the holiday began five years ago, support for National Move Over Day has steadily increased. Today, organizations across America are taking to the roadways to raise awareness. Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs reintroduced a resolution to support the state’s “Move Over” laws, requiring drivers to change lanes away from tow trucks, police and emergency vehicles. This year, 12 states, including California, Oregon, Arizona, Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland and Kentucky, are all participating in Move Over Day events this year.
Executive Director of the Arizona Professional Towing and Recovery Association, Angela Barnett, says that the holiday was born to bring awareness to important safety laws that were previously overlooked.
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What Are Move Over Laws?
Move Over laws state that drivers should decrease speed and move into another lane in order protect first responders such as ambulance drivers, police officers and roadside assistance professionals. However, these laws differ according to each state. The following details the laws in the states in which our offices reside. The are not all-encompassing, so make sure you take the time to research your own state’s Move Over laws!
Kentucky Move Over Laws: Year Implemented: 2003
When drivers approach a stationary emergency vehicle, they should abide by the following standards: No vehicle operators should follow an emergency safety vehicle any closer than 500 feet. When traveling on a road with no fewer than two lanes going the same direction, drivers should switch lanes with due regard to safety and road conditions. Drivers should also reduce speed in a way that is safe regarding road and weather conditions.
Ohio Move Over Laws: Year Implemented: 2000
The move over law in Ohio declares that when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle (including waste collection and road service vehicles), drivers should adopt the following standards: If the driver is not traveling on a road that allows them to change into another lane, they must reduce their speed and maintain a safe speed for the road and weather conditions. The speed reduction is largely at the discretion of the driver.
Indiana Move Over Laws: Year Implemented: 2002
When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle (including road utility vehicles, maintenance vehicles and municipal vehicles), drivers must yield right of way and follow these standards: The driver shall proceed with due caution and drive 10 mph slower than the posted speed limit. Drivers should also yield right of way by changing lanes on roads that are not less than two lanes going the same direction.
The Challenge: Begin New Safe Driving Patterns On National Move Over Day!
Take the National Move Over Day challenge – Beginning Oct 19th, adopt a new, intentional safe driving practice:
- Keep an eye out for flashing lights and emergency vehicles
- Slow Down when you see first responder vehicles
- Move Over as road conditions allow
To learn more about Move Over Laws and who they affect, visit our accident prevention page detailing Move Over laws!
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