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  • Moving Over for Emergency Vehicles

    http://kstp.com/article/stories/S2109954.shtml?cat=0

    In Theory, it seems like this would be one of the most avoidable kinds of crashes on the road but apparently not. MN has a "move over" law, but I'm not sure how strictly it's enforced. What have other states done to remedy this issue, besides the sweet new checkered graphics?

  • #2
    Well AZ has the move over law which states you either need to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle or slow down. Don't know how well it's enforced although I would like to see more enforcement.





    This design on the back of the AZ DPS car's helps direct drivers away from the patrol car, is highly reflective and it is just another decal that can be any combination of colors from red/black, red/blue, yellow/blue, blue/white etc. I think more agencies should try this because it is less expensive than painting the entire car and can be made to match the current colors. If you notice in the photos everything that is blue/white is reflective. The red decals that are between the brake light and reverse lights are reflective stickers as well. AZ DPS goes out of their way to make their cars visible.
    "I'm sorry, did you see my care face? Because I'm pretty sure I didn't show it to you becuase I DON'T care. Have a nice day. "

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    • #3
      CA's move over law applies to any flashing, warning lights being utilized on the Freeway or Interstate. Unfortunately, it does not apply to surface streets. It has only been in effect for a couple of years, so I am not certain any studies have been conducted to evaluate the law's effectiveness.

      The following is section 21809 of the California Vehicle Code:

      21809.

      (a) A person driving a vehicle on a freeway approaching a
      stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying emergency
      lights, or a stationary tow truck that is displaying flashing amber
      warning lights, shall approach with due caution and, before passing
      in a lane immediately adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle or
      tow truck, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed to
      do one of the following:

      (1) Make a lane change into an available lane not immediately
      adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle or tow truck with due
      regard for safety and traffic conditions, if practicable and not
      prohibited by law.

      (2) If the maneuver described in paragraph (1) would be unsafe or
      impracticable, slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe
      for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic
      conditions.

      (b) A violation of subdivision (a) is an infraction, punishable by
      a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50).

      (c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
      2010, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
      statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2010, deletes or extends
      that date.
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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      • #4
        NYS passed similar law as what chad7613 has stated above. I think it is supposed to be more of preventative measure (to safeguard LEOs and emergency crews) and in case of an event, the government has one more charge to bring at the offender.

        Nassau County PD Highway Patrol Officer's cruise was struck and the officer was killed not too long ago and yet I still see morons driving at high speed way too close to emergency vehicles.

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        • #5
          I strictly enforce it... Whenever I can. It's difficult to enforce when you're already on a traffic stop when it happens. About the only chance I get is when I had just wrapped up my previous stop when the move over violation occurs.

          The article specifically mentions this happening during the winter. I guarantee the squads getting hit in the winter in that article have way more to do with idiots who can't drive when the white stuff starts flying than it does any sort of move over violation. I've personally witnessed more than enough people ditch their vehicle in the snow, but thankfully I've never been hit.

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          • #6
            I'm sorry, but these studies are useless. You can put all of the colored/reflective decals on a squad car that you want, it's not that we aren't being seen, its that some drivers just don't care. You can't tell me that people don't notice our cars when we have somebody pulled over with a bunch of bright, flashing, red and blue lights activated. Drivers take notice of us enough to slam on their brakes when we are running radar without ANY lights on. It's complete BS. Drivers are just plain negligent. I can understand it if you cannot move over because of cars in the other lane, but then you need to slow WAY down WELL IN ADVANCE.

            It's a really tough law to enforce because this happens when we are already engaged in a traffic stop, and the only thing that will make a difference is stronger enforcement.


            And i'm not very fond of making my car look like a NASCAR.....
            Live with honor, and let not your death be born by the pallbearers of disgrace, cruelty, weakness, and fear.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rwandrie View Post
              I'm sorry, but these studies are useless. You can put all of the colored/reflective decals on a squad car that you want, it's not that we aren't being seen, its that some drivers just don't care. You can't tell me that people don't notice our cars when we have somebody pulled over with a bunch of bright, flashing, red and blue lights activated. Drivers take notice of us enough to slam on their brakes when we are running radar without ANY lights on. It's complete BS. Drivers are just plain negligent. I can understand it if you cannot move over because of cars in the other lane, but then you need to slow WAY down WELL IN ADVANCE.

              It's a really tough law to enforce because this happens when we are already engaged in a traffic stop, and the only thing that will make a difference is stronger enforcement.


              And i'm not very fond of making my car look like a NASCAR.....
              Mass State Troopers are doing a study to see if it's the police lights that draw people into collisions with emergency vehicles on the side of the road. I believe they're calling it the moth affect, sort of how moths are attracted to outdoor lights.
              GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

              "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by chad7613 View Post
                Well AZ has the move over law which states you either need to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle or slow down. Don't know how well it's enforced although I would like to see more enforcement.





                This design on the back of the AZ DPS car's helps direct drivers away from the patrol car, is highly reflective and it is just another decal that can be any combination of colors from red/black, red/blue, yellow/blue, blue/white etc. I think more agencies should try this because it is less expensive than painting the entire car and can be made to match the current colors. If you notice in the photos everything that is blue/white is reflective. The red decals that are between the brake light and reverse lights are reflective stickers as well. AZ DPS goes out of their way to make their cars visible.
                We actually won an award for that some time ago, and you know what?

                We still get hit.
                Last edited by AZLawDawg; 05-15-2011, 02:02 AM.
                "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell

                Comment


                • #9
                  I enforce that law every time I have an opportunity to do so. It's helpful if I'm out with another officer with me acting as cover and someone goes blowing by. Then it's why didn't you move over when there were TWO cop cars lit up like a christmas trees.

                  I wrote AZ's version of that on a surface street recently. Was in the #2 lane of travel next to the curb and some guy squeaked by in the lane I was in. I still can't fathom how he avoided hitting my car. After explaining the move over law and issuing a cite, he tells me that if I hadn't been pulled over so far to the left in the lane, created by parking off center to the original violator, that he would have had more room to get by. That went over great for him.

                  Disclaimer, I was completely professional explaining the error of his assumptions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Indiana was the first state to enact the move over/slow down law, and it not only includes emergency vehicles (i.e. police, fire, EMS) but it also includes recovery vehicles as well. Last year they even went a step further and added into the law that if you are not able to move over safely that you must slow down to at least 10 MPH below the posted speed limit.

                    For some reason I hear the excuse "I didn't know I was supposed to move over" and I ask if they would consider it a common courtesy to move over for anyone that's on the side of the road, and they always say Yes to that.

                    I enforce that law as much as possible, I've even been standing at a violator's door when someone doesn't yield and I'll throw their info back to them and chase down the one that failed to yield. And the max fine by statute is $10,000. Most I've ever seen handed out was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000.

                    I think part of the fine should be that the violator should have to go out and stand on the shoulder of the interstate for 15 minutes and see how it feels to have cars whiz by you by inches.
                    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it

                    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet
                    it" - Thucydides

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                    • #11
                      Its sad that we have to have laws like this on the books. It's common sense to me, I slow down and always try to move over to the left. Not just for police/emergency vehicles, but for any vehicle on the side. Unfortunately I don't think the laws will change many people's behavior but at least it gives a punishment for it, so *maybe* that person won't do it again.

                      There's one situation I've been in which sucked... I was in the right, had a truck immediately to my left riding the line, and an a-hole was behind me practically riding on my bumper. Crest the hill and there's a cop with someone pulled over. Couldn't jam the binders without causing an accident and making the situation for the LEO worse, best I could do without being rear ended by the tail-gater was take my foot off the gas pedal and let the car slow by itself. There wasn't a whole lot I could do. If people started driving with the mentality that they were in a 2 ton bullet instead of a 2 ton safety cage we wouldn't have these situations... but some people are just plain stupid (or self-centered).
                      The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

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