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Move Over Law

Vermont Law

Vermont state law requires drivers approaching a stationary law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire fighting vehicle, a vehicle used in rescue operations, or a towing and repair vehicle displaying signal lamps, and traveling in the same direction, to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to the stationary vehicles.

23 V.S.A. § 1050

Move Over Laws in General

Move Over laws are safety regulations enacted in many countries, including the United States, to protect the safety of emergency responders and other roadside workers. The specific details of the law can vary by jurisdiction, but its primary purpose is to reduce the risk of crashes and injuries for people working on or near roadways.

Move-over laws generally require drivers to take specific actions when they encounter emergency vehicles or other authorized vehicles with flashing lights on the roadside. Here are some common elements of Move Over laws:

  1. Change Lanes: The core requirement of the Move Over law is that drivers must change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or other authorized vehicle parked on the shoulder with its flashing lights on. Drivers should move over to the adjacent lane if it's safe to do so.

  2. Reduce Speed: If changing lanes is not possible or safe, drivers are typically required to slow down significantly when passing a stopped emergency vehicle. This reduced speed helps ensure the safety of personnel working on the side of the road.

  3. Wide Berth: Some versions of the law may also stipulate that drivers should provide a wide berth around the emergency vehicle, maintaining a safe distance to avoid potential collisions or crashes.

  4. Penalties: Violating the Move Over law can result in fines, points on your driver's license, and, in some cases, even the suspension of your driving privileges. Penalties vary by jurisdiction and the severity of the violation.

  5. Emergency Vehicles: The law typically covers a wide range of emergency vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, and other vehicles used in emergency response.

The primary goal of the Move Over law is to protect the lives of emergency responders, law enforcement officers, and other individuals who must work near moving traffic. By requiring drivers to change lanes or reduce their speed when passing these vehicles, the law aims to create a safer environment on the road and reduce the risk of crashes that can result in injury or death. It's essential for drivers to be aware of and comply with the Move Over law to contribute to road safety and ensure the well-being of those who work in emergency and roadside situations.

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