Whenever roadways bring unexpected scenes, like stopped vehicles blocking lanes or resting on the shoulder, construction workers and accidents, the potential for further accident or injury goes up as drivers become distracted by the events around them and rescue workers and others are left exposed walking around the roadway. Taking precautions to ensure that all drivers act appropriately and safely in the face of these events helps to ensure that additional accidents and injuries are avoided.
According to Indiana’s Move Over law, motorists are required to “move over” to an adjacent lane if they encounter any of the following vehicles stopped in the lane next to them with emergency lights on:
- Emergency vehicles like police cars, ambulances, fire and rescue trucks.
- Highway maintenance and work vehicles.
- Tow trucks.
In the event that a driver could not move safely over to another lane upon seeing one of these vehicles stopped with lights—either because there wasn’t another lane to move to or because traffic conditions prevented them from doing so—the Move Over law then required the driver to drive past the stopped vehicle slowly until they had cleared the area. Unfortunately, further safety measures have been needed and, as a result, Indiana drivers are now required to officially slow down and drive 10 miles per hour under the speed limit if they are unable to move their car over to another lane.
In addition to this change to the Move Over law, the state has created another law called the “Move It” law. This law (which is currently in effect) requires that individuals involved in accidents move their vehicles out of the travel lanes of the street or highway after the accident, if at all possible. If the car is inoperable, then this directive can be ignored.
You can never be too safe when it comes to driving, the fact that these laws help ensure your safety should be enough to encourage all motorists to follow them. Of course, there are penalties that are imposed for drivers that do not. Fines of up to $10,000 can be imposed on drivers who do not acknowledge the Move Over or Move It laws. If the violation of the law results in injuries or property damage, the penalties are even more severe and can include license suspension.
Contact us with any questions you may have about the new changes to this law.