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Darren Tobin
Darren Tobin
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 305

Georgia's Move Over Law Is In Effect

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This past Thursday, March 1, 2012, two people were injured after a driver struck a police vehicle. The crash occurred on Interstate 20 near Glenwood Road in southeast Atlanta.

According to the Channel Five Fox News, the officer stopped and left his lights on as he went to check on an abandoned vehicle. When the officer stopped, a female driving another vehicle hit the officer’s patrol vehicle from behind. After hitting the officer’s vehicle, the car spun and ran head on into a concrete wall. It took about two hours to clean up the accident.

The officer was taken to Grady Hospital and fortunately has no serious injuries. The female driver was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Charges are pending against this driver. She was charged with Georgia's new Move-Over Law. This is a new traffic law in Georgia. It requires drivers to move over one lane if there is an emergency vehicle or tow truck with flashing lights in front of them. However, if you cannot change lanes, the law requires you to drive below the speed limit.

§ 40-6-16. Operating motor vehicle approaching emergency vehicle; violations

(a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the “Spencer Pass Law.”

(b) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

(c) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

(d) Violation of subsection (b) or (c) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00.

Drivers should be aware of this new law for two reasons – first and most importantly, it is for safety and may save an officer's life and second, the fine for this charge is $500.