What is Alabama’s Move Over Law? The law began as a protection for police helping or citing motorists along the highway. We have all seen a police officer on the roadside doing his or her job. The officer must stand just feet from cars traveling at high speeds. It is a very dangerous position. Many police officers have been injured or killed over the years by passing motorists. If you ask any law enforcement officer, they will admit this is one of the scariest parts of their job.
Eventually, our original Blue Light Law was amended to include other workers who must also perform their jobs on the side of our highways. These include paramedics, firefighters, wrecker drivers, utility workers, sanitation employees. All of these individuals work at significant personal risk.
At our office, we have seen the tragic results of drivers who refuse to slow or move for emergency personnel. Several years ago, we represented the family of a young paramedic struck and killed by a passing driver. This paramedic was helping a hurt motorist on the shoulder of the Interstate. Despite flashing lights from two patrol cars and the ambulance, a reckless driver sped down the icy highway without slowing or moving to the far lane. The driver lost control. He struck the paramedic, killing her.
We understand that no law will stop someone who cares nothing for others. But, the law will change the habits of caring drivers who want to act safely. And, the law will change the habits of other drivers who do not want to suffer the penalties or fines of a citation. This will make our roads safer.
I’ve written about Alabama’s Move Over Law on two earlier occasions. My prior posts discuss the law and contain links to other valuable information. You can read those articles here:
The Alabama Legislature has just strengthened the Move Over Law. Now, it will also protect stranded motorists. Every year, stranded motorists are killed along our highways by passing drivers who refuse to slow or move. As one state legislator said:
The last thing you want is a car whizzing by you going 75 while you’re changing a tire on the side of the interstate. Until this bill, that was legal. I’m happy to be changing that.
This new law will include stranded motorists. That’s an important safety addition that will protect all drivers from the risk of needless personal injury and death. Slowing and moving away from emergency responders, highways workers and stranded motorists, is important to safety.
At the Blackwell Law Firm, we frequently write about highway safety. We represent the injured victims of car accidents and commercial truck crashes. In addition to helping our current clients, we believe in advocating for highway safety. If you have questions, we urge you to read our articles on driver safety. We also welcome calls and emails. Consultations are always free and confidential.