6/3/2016States Massively Expand Move Over Laws
State laws expand to ticket drivers for driving past anything from garbage trucks to cable TV trucks without making a lane change.
Motorists in some states can be ticketed if they drive past some types of vehicles -- but not others -- when they are stopped on the side of the highway. States began enacting "move over" laws to ticket people for not slowing well under the speed limit or making an emergency lane change when a police officer is parked on the side of the road, but these statutes are now being expanded to cover dozens of other special classes of vehicles.
Georgia's move over law took effect in 2003, but beginning next month police will issue $500 tickets to drivers who pass electrical linemen or cable television trucks. Last year, Georgia also joined Virginia in expanding the law to cover garbage trucks.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial tracks the number of police officers killed in the line of duty. The group reports that seven officers were shot during traffic stops, and eleven were struck while outside their vehicles last year.
So far this year, criminals shot one officer during a traffic stop, and another thug shot an officer who was responding to a vehicle crash scene. Two police officers were also struck and killed by vehicles while they were offering assistance to accident victims on freeways.
A closer look show that these incidents were not the sort that could be prevented by the move over law. In March, a California Highway Patrol officer died on Interstate 80 near Donner Summit when a Nissan Pathfinder SUV that had just changed lanes spun out of control in icy conditions and struck the officer who was directing traffic around the scene of an injury accident scene. A New Jersey State Trooper was also struck at an accident scene in March, but the woman who hit and killed the trooper was not charged.
While it is rare for police to be killed by passing vehicles, the Virginia State Police spent $40,000 in federal funds to produce a "move over" advertising blitz this year. In 2010, Florida created roadside "move over" ticket traps during the Labor Day weekend. The ticketing blitz lasted two weeks and generated 2200 citations.