The "Move Over" Law

By: Andrew Fefer
By: Andrew Fefer

The left lane isn't just for passing anymore, that's what area State Troopers are saying in reference to a new law in effect in Wisconsin.

It's called the "Move Over" law, and it has to do with driving by a police car, emergency, or maintenance vehicle parked on the side of the road.

If you're on a multi-lane highway, you're required by law to switch lanes to give them room in that situation. If that's not an option, slow down.

The penalties for not following the law are stiff if you end up damaging property. You can be fined $225 and lose your license for up to two years.

The law applies even if the vehicle happens to be pulled over to the left of the highway. In that case, you would switch to the right lane.

Nearly 60 officers from the State Patrol have been hit by people who didn't give them adequate room to do their jobs on the highway. Extended Web Coverage

Flashing Lights? MOVE OVER!

  • Drivers should pay special attention whenever any vehicle stops on the side of the road.

  • When a stopped emergency vehicle, police car, tow truck or a piece of highway construction machinery flashes warning lights, motorists have an obligation under the law to help provide a safe zone on the highway by shifting lanes and slowing down.

  • There are two options open to a driver approaching a stopped vehicle with flashing lights:
    • If the road you're on has more than one lane and traffic around you permits, move over.

    • If you can't move over, you must at least reduce your speed.

  • Penalties and fines for violating this law are stiff, the fine is $213 and includes suspension of your drivers license for between 90 and 180 days if you damage property, between 180 days and two years if you hurt someone and for a full two years if someone dies.

  • Since 1994, at least 60 Wisconsin State Patrol troopers and inspectors have been struck as they worked alongside a roadway while performing law enforcement duties.

  • Since the State Patrol was organized in 1939, two troopers have been killed while working along a roadside.

For more information visit our source: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Web site, or you can call Major Huxtable of the Wisconsin State Patrol Division Headquarters in Madison at 608-267-9522, or your local law enforcement agency.

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