Move Over Law in Georgia

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Move Over Law in Georgia

On July 1, 2016, Georgia passed a law titled the “Move Over Law.” The move law says that motorists traveling in the lane adjacent to the shoulder must move-over one lane when emergency vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway. This law was passed in response to the growing number of people killed during routine traffic stops and highway construction projects. More than 30 states have a Move Over Law. Georgia's Move Over Law is also known as the “Spencer Pass Law” in honor of Spencer Pass who was a HERO (Highway Emergency Response Operator) driver that was killed while assisting a vehicle.

If you have been charged with a move over violation, contact our Georgia Attorneys today. We have decades of experience with DUI and traffic cases and understand how to protect your rights, freedom, and future. Call now for a free case evaluation.

Georgia's Move Over Law

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16 outlines what you should do when approaching emergency vehicles.

When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle that is flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights, or a stationary tow truck, highway maintenance vehicle, or utility vehicle, you must proceed with caution and:

  • Change lines into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle, or
  • If a lane change is not possible due to traffic or road conditions, slow down to a reasonable speed which is less than the speed limit, and prepare to stop.

What is Required of Drivers under Georgia's Move Over Law?

The Move Over law requires drivers to move-over one lane when possible if there is an emergency vehicle with flashing lights parked on the shoulder of the highway. If the traffic is too heavy or you are unable to move over, the law requires drivers to slow down below the speed limits and to be prepared to stop.

The Move Over Law applies to numerous types of stopped vehicles:

  • Patrol vehicles
  • Tow trucks
  • Fire trucks
  • Ambulances
  • Maintenance vehicles 
  • Recovery vehicles
  • Utility vehicles
  • Other law enforcement vehicles

What is the Penalty for Failing to Move Over for Emergency Vehicles in Georgia?

While this may seem like a minor violation, a move-over conviction can come with significant consequences. A person convicted of violating O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16 (b) will be punished by a fine up to five hundred dollars. A person who violates subsection (c) of § 40-6-16 will be punished by a fine up to $250.00. A conviction for this traffic violation will also add 3 points to your driving record. For people over 21 years of age, an accumulation of 15 points or more in a 24 month period will result in a license suspension.

In addition to the fine, if an accident, injury, or death resulting from failing to move over, the driver could face criminal and civil liability for the damages. The driver may have to pay for vehicle damage, a victim's medical bills, pain and suffering, or restitution.

Furthermore, violating the move law can be the basis for an officer to stop your vehicle and investigate other offenses. This could lead to a DUI arrest or an investigation of other crimes. If you have been charged with a DUI with violation of the move over law as the underlying offense, call us now. 

How Our Georgia Traffic Lawyers Can Help

If you have been charged with failing to move over, there are ways to fight your ticket! Under the statute, if you were unable to move over but you slowed down to a reasonable speed, that is a defense. If the emergency lights were not flashing on the vehicle, you were not required to move over and we can argue for a dismissal of the charge. No matter what the situation, our Traffic Ticket Attorneys in Georgia know how to save you from facing unnecessary penalties. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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