Alabama Joins Florida With ‘Move Over’ Law

December 6, 2009

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Alabama will soon join Florida in enforcing a “Move Over” law that requires motorists to move over when approaching emergency vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road with their emergency lights activated.

Alabama’s law formerly applied just to law enforcement vehicles and was dubbed the “Blue Light” law. But now the law has been expanded to include all emergency vehicles  with flashing lights, including wreckers.

The law is effective now, and Alabama State Troopers will begin full enforcement with tickets on January 1. The law requires drivers to move over one lane on a four lane highway when approaching emergency vehicles. If it is unsafe to move over, drivers should slow at least 15 mph below the speed limit. On a a two lane highway, drivers are required to move over as far as possible without leaving their lane and slow down to a speed at least 15 mph below the posted speed limit. If the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less, drivers should slow to 10 mph.

Florida’s move over laws is a little bit different:

  • On a two-lane roadway, you are required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.
  • If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, you must slow down to five miles per hour.
  • If you are driving on an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes of travel in the same direction, and you approach an emergency or law enforcement vehicle parked along the roadway, you must vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are not able to safely move over, you must slow down to a speed of 20 MPH below the posted speed limit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.

Pictured above: An Alabama State Trooper in Dallas County was seriously injured in this crash last year. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

8 Responses to “Alabama Joins Florida With ‘Move Over’ Law”

  1. whitepunknotondope on December 7th, 2009 12:33 pm

    I want to share a story. Once when driving in Virginia, heavy Interstate (95) traffic south of D.C., I saw up ahead of me a family whose car had broken down. They had pulled over to the shoulder on the right, had the hood up and were all standing around in the grass waiting for help. I was in the second lane from the right. As I was still approaching the disabled car, I passed an elderly lady (who was in the right lane), and then passed the disabled car. As I looked in my rear view mirror, to my shock and surprise, the elderly lady drifted over into the shoulder lane and ran smack into the back of the disabled car. The impact was so violent her car’s rear end flew up into the air. I can’t imagine she lived. The people standing around their disabled car all dove to the ground to avoid the impact.

    Since then I have seen numerous TV shows and internet videos that show drivers inexplicably drifting onto the shoulder and crashing into parked or disabled vehicles for no apparent reason, as if there were some unseen force of gravity pulling them over towards the parked vehicles! It’s just uncanny how much that happens.

    So I say the new law is definitely necessary, because for some reason, a parked vehicle on the shoulder of a highway acts as a magnet to certain motorists to go smash into it.

  2. Billy on December 7th, 2009 9:41 am

    Read Tail Hawk,
    I remember when the crash in the picture happened. This was actually on the interstate and the driver that hit the Trooper left the road to do so. The Trooper was seriously hurt in the crash. By the way you talk about law enforcement you sound really young and immature or either you have been in trouble before. You need to remember that these men and women aren’t super human, they are human just like you and I. They make mistakes from time to time but before you speak rudely about anyone you should look at each individual incident. Like the picture shown, it is obvious by the angle of impact on the car that someone hit the car after running off of the road to do so. This was not a direct rear end like you are stating happened. But suppose that the Trooper did stop in the road, if you are so darn blind and stupid that you can’t see or figure out to go around him when it is clear……GET OFF OF THE ROAD AND NEVER DRIVE AGAIN!

  3. RED TAIL HAWK on December 7th, 2009 5:04 am

    THERE ARE PEOPLE ON THE HIGHWAY THAT ARE DRUNK, ON DRUGS AND SUICIDAL, IF THEY DON’T PULL OVER FAR ENOUGH, WHY DON’T HE TELL THEM ON THE LOUD SPEAKER BEFORE HE GETS OUT TO PULL ON OVER. THAT WAS NOT A CIVILIAN’S CAR I SAW HIT IN THE PICTURE EITHER, THAT WAS A STATE CAR BOUGHT WITH MY TAX DOLLARS, THAT SOMEONE WAS IRRESPONSIBLE WITH. IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A CIVILIAN I’M SURE THEY WOULD HAVE GOTTEN ANOTHER TICKET FOR THAT, BESIDES THE ONE HE PULLED THEM OVER FOR. AS FAR AS PUTTING THEIR OWN SAFETY ON THE LINE THEY KNOW THEY ARE DOING THAT EVERY DAY THEY GO TO WORK. NOBODY IS MAKING THEM DO IT, THAT WAS THE JOB THEY CHOSE.

  4. AL on December 6th, 2009 8:23 pm

    R Hawk – the LEO’s don’t pull completely off the road because the driver’s they are stopping don’t. If the LEO were to pull all the way off, that would leave the civilian vehicle exposed to crazy drivers. Yet again, they are putting their own safety on the line for the general public.

  5. Jim on December 6th, 2009 7:30 pm

    Drivers licenses are given to anyone that has a pulse.

    I remember back in the 60’s in Winter Garden, FL seeing a bus load of migrant orange pickers being allowed to take their drivers license written test with an interpreter. Telling them how to answer the questions. Do you think they could read road signs?

    There are also many on the road with no valid drivers license.

    We have people that worry more about what other people eat than are concerned about what qualifications to drive safely the masses have.

  6. Billy on December 6th, 2009 12:44 pm

    I know a Trooper and his car has been hit three times by people and he has been hit by a mirror once. Driving requires common sense….something that most people don’t have anymore. People also need to learn that when they are getting stopped, they need to pull completely off of the road so that the officers don’t have to leave their vehicle in the roadway to shield them from traffic. If you can’t pull completely off of the road, continue until you do. This doens’t take a degree to figure out.

  7. RED TAIL HAWK on December 6th, 2009 10:20 am

    IF THE IDIOTS WOULD LEARN HOW TO MOVE OFF THE ROAD WITH PLENTY OF ENOUGH SPACE THEN THEY WOULDN’T HAVE THIS PROBLEM. IT’S NOT LIKE THEY DON’T DO THIS EVERY DAY.

  8. Casandra on December 6th, 2009 6:13 am

    I’m still amazed that this even needs to be written in law. I always thought it was good common sense to move to the opposite lane when approaching an accident, or even when approaching a police officer on a traffic stop.





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