If you haven’t heard of the Move Over Law, you’re not alone and it could cause you to get a traffic ticket. Studies show that many people remain unaware of a ruling that’s currently in effect in one form or other in each of the 50 states. In fact, as of 2013, only 29 percent of Americans knew of its existence.
Although the specifics may vary from state to state, Move Over’s bottom line remains the same. When approaching an emergency vehicle with flashing lights parked beside or on a roadway, a motorist must do one of two things:
When circumstances permit, he should move into the closest available lane that is not immediately adjacent to the vehicle in question. If, on the other hand, he has no safe way of making the lane change, he must reduce his speed to one that is below the stated limit insofar as existing road, weather, traffic and pedestrian conditions allow.
In every one of the 50 states, the driver who chooses to speed on by these parked-by-the-roadside emergency vehicles is one who is breaking the law.
What Is the Reason for the Move Over Law?
When forced to stop by the side of a multi-lane highway, first responders and utility workers are putting themselves in danger. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has stated that the 390 workers killed in this manner in 2005 accounted for a full 7 percent of fatal job-related injuries nationwide. In the year 2013, 46 members of law enforcement lost their lives when struck at the roadside by passing vehicles.
The first version of this law came into effect in South Carolina through the efforts of James D. Garcia, a paramedic who nearly lost his life when a passing motorist mowed him down as he worked at a roadside crash site. As similar accidents continued to occur in the various states, emergency responders across the country joined together to take the fight for action nationwide. Today, not a state in the union is without some sort of “move over” law.
The Move Over Law in Nevada
Unless directed otherwise by a peace officer, any Nevada driver who encounters a sanctioned emergency vehicle or tow truck at the side of the road with its flashers on must:
- Slow down to a reasonable speed that is below the posted limit.
- Proceed cautiously.
- Be ready to stop if necessary.
- Move to a lane that is not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle unless weather, traffic or road conditions would make the move too dangerous.
In Nevada, any person found guilty of violating the Move Over Law will have committed a misdemeanor for which the penalties normally include four points on the driver’s license and a fine of as much as $395. These punishments are at the low end of the scale. If the misdemeanor results in the death or injury of a trooper or officer, they will escalate accordingly.
Other problems can also ensue. Your insurer may raise your insurance rates. The state could revoke your license. At the very worst, if you fail to respond to your traffic ticket, the law could put out a warrant for your arrest.
Defenses Against Your Move Over Law Violation
If you’ve been a victim of the Move Over Law, you’re surely wondering what your next step should be. Some people feel that the ruling serves as a cash cow and that many police officers use it as a means of entrapment. Although you may firmly believe that you have been caught in this manner, you might have trouble proving that in a court of law. On the other hand, you can always:
- Argue that you had no way to change lanes safely although you did reduce your speed considerably.
- Maintain that the parked emergency vehicle failed to flash its warning lights.
- Plead “no contest” and ask the judge to withhold adjudication.
Regardless of what you decide, don’t feel that you have to handle this alone. The professionals at Vegas Ticket Wizard will leave no stone unturned in their effort to resolve your traffic violation. We will even appear in court in your place. Don’t let a Move Over Law violation smear your driving record. Call Vegas Ticket Wizard today at 702-202-0500 and let us deal with this issue for you.