In The News
Sept/Oct 2007 Issue
Move over for emergency vehicles parked along Mississippi highways

Motorists on Mississippi highways are now required to move over or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

Missississippi has joined the ranks of 39 other states to have adopted a “Move Over” law, which is designed to protect highway workers and emergency personnel. According to the law, which took effect July 1, upon approaching a parked emergency vehicle that is using flashing lights along a road with at least two lanes of travel in the same direction, motorists should vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle if possible. If traffic is too congested to move over safely, motorists are required to slow down below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop.

“Thousands of Americans die on roadways and in highway work zones due to careless drivers,” said Mississippi Depart-ment of Transportation Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown. “Statistics have shown that far too many emergency vehicles of all types have been struck while parked on the highway, even with the emergency lights flashing.”

Violating Mississippi’s “Move Over” law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $250. If the violation results in property damage to the emergency vehicle, highway maintenance or recovery vehicle or bodily injury to the driver or passenger, the fine can be up to $1,000.

Arkansas has a similar “Move Over” law. Louisiana has a “Move Over” law under which motorists who approach an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the highway with its lights on must slow to a speed of 25 mph and merge into the lane farthest from the emergency vehicle to pass.

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