GEORGIA'S MOVE OVER LAW

  
GEORGIA’S MOVE OVER LAW
This might not be the most exciting column in the paper today. But, it is worth taking a glance at.
There is a relatively new law in Georgia that has and will continue to save the lives of motorists, police officers, and emergency personnel.
It is the Move-Over Law (MOL.)
In a nutshell, MOL says drivers must move-over one lane for emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the highway when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of the highway. If traffic is too heavy to move-over safely, the law requires drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit instead AND to be prepared to stop.
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the law was passed in the aftermath of growing numbers of police, emergency technicians and DOT workers being killed during routine traffic stops, crash responses and highway construction projects around the nation.
Today, more than thirty states have MOL laws with fines that range as high as a thousand dollars or more in some jurisdictions. In Georgia, the fine is up to $500.
More specifically, OCGA 40-6-16 provides:
A. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
1. Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
2. If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
B. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
1. Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
2. If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

Its really all about safety; particularly on interstates like I-20 where drivers are flying down the road with enormous speed.
According to FBI statistics, traffic crashes claim the lives of more police personnel than any other cause of death in the line of duty, including shootings. The FBI says last year, forty-nine officers died in crashes across the country. Thirteen of those law enforcement officers were struck and killed by passing vehicles while they worked outside their patrol cars.
I don’t know how many lives have been saved since Georgia’s MOL was passed. Hopefully, lives will be saved in the future.
Lets all try to keep a keen eye out for vehicles parked on the right side of the road during the holidays and beyond.