Georgia's "Move Over Law"
In this article the Law Office of James T. Ponton discusses Georgia’s “Move Over Law” and the reasons behind its enactment. Reckless drivers should be held accountable for the harms they commit and if you have been injured by the negligence of another driver contact us for help.
What are "Move Over" Laws?Move over laws make it a requirement that motorists traveling on multi-lane roadways merge away from an emergency vehicle working on the side of the highway to provide an empty travel lane of safety for the roadside worker.
Generally, if it is not practical for a driver to move over (for example due to traffic volume), the driver must slow significantly below the posted speed limit while passing the roadside worker.
What are the Reasons for Move Over Laws?According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, one of the leading causes of death for officers is where officers are hit alongside the road when responding to an accident. Over 130 police officers have been killed after being stuck be vehicles over the last decade.
MoveOverLaws.com has gathered these facts supporting the need for move over laws:
o In 2005, 390 roadside workers were killed in struck-by incidents, accounting for seven percent
of all fatal occupational injuries.
o Law enforcement officers being struck and killed is a major cause of law enforcement deaths.
Move over laws are designed to protect those who respond to accidents along out highways. Each state has slightly different rules but violating Georgia's can have serious consequences.
Georgia's "Move Over Law"In summary, Georgia's "Move Over Law" requires drivers to move-over one lane when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of the highway. If traffic is too heavy to move-over safely, the law requires drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit instead and to be prepared to stop.
This means that if you approach an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing you must take steps to protect those workers. Emergency vehicles include:
o First responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS),
o Utility vehicles,
o Department of Transportation vehicles, and
o Units and wreckers tending to an accident.
The law is meant to keep those responding to accidents as well as those involved in the accident safe from crashes with passing cars.
Violation of the law can result in fines up to $500.
Protect YourselfIf you have been involved in accident, or if you are trying to help those involved in an accident, remember to take steps to protect yourself. Move yourself and others away from the accident scene. Do not attempt to block traffic or remove debris until it is safe to do so.
Contact the authorities as soon as possible. Gather information about the accident scene by taking pictures and recording the contact and insurance information of others involved. Try to remain calm and do not confront the other drivers or accept blame for the accident.
Contact an Attorney TodayAn Atlanta accident attorney can help you if you have been injured by a negligent driver. It is every driver's obligation to act safely and those who fail to drive with care should be held accountable for their actions.
The Law Office of James T. Ponton can help you contact the appropriate medical professionals for a complete evaluation. We can manage the legal process, and fight the insurance companies and other party's attorneys. Let us manage the legal issues so you can manage your recovery.