“Move over or get pulled over”
When a driver on the road witnesses any maintenance crews, towing trucks, or an emergency vehicle with its’ siren on, the law states drivers must move over one lane to create a safety buffer. In fact, Colorado’s ‘Move Over’ law is not a recent development but rather a new bill called, SB 229, that seeks to harshen the punishment for those who do not follow the ‘move over’ law. By increasing the punishment to a felony for drivers breaking the law, legislators hope it will expand the protection for non-emergency vehicles and workers on roadways.
These developments are a response to the rise of roadside deaths, especially after two troopers were killed in separate incidents on I-25 in 2016. In both scenarios, the drivers failed to give a lane of space to individuals on the side of the road and struck them. Law enforcement agencies statewide have joined forces to educate drivers and to ultimately discourage distracted driving.
During the winter months, tow trucks and service vehicles are often in high demand. However, it’s a dangerous job to work on the side of highways and to occasionally change a flat tire with distracted drivers. Especially for those who are non-emergency and may not receive the same protection as emergency workers.
Colorado State Senator, Chris Holbert of the Republican party is a co-sponsor of the bill who believes it is beneficial to have towing and roadside assistance on our roadways. Yet, they need a substantial break from ‘close-calls’ and that means enforcing harsher penalties for those who disregard the ‘Move Over’ law.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is ready to work with lawmakers if the bill is passed by enforcing more safety awareness zones and installing more signage. Naturally, Colorado State Patrol troopers have been cracking down on the ‘Move Over’ Law which can result in a careless driving ticket, a 4 point violation on your license, and a $150 fine. CSP suggests, drivers who are unable to move into the other lane, to drastically reduce their speed and keep their eyes on the road.
Next time you are on the road, pay attention to the shoulders for cars and individuals who are trusting you to ‘Move Over’.