Missouri agencies remind drivers of ‘Move Over’ law on National Move Over Day

(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)((Source: KFVS))
Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 11:58 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri traffic and law enforcement agencies are raising awareness about traffic safety laws as Saturday marks National Move Over Day.

National Move Over Day falls on the the third Saturday every October in an effort to raise awareness for first responders, emergency workers, roadway workers and pedestrians on the side of the road.

“If you see the flashing lights of MoDOT trucks, law enforcement vehicles, firetrucks, ambulances, tow trucks, or any other emergency response vehicles on or along the road, SLOW DOWN and MOVE OVER,” says the Missouri Department of Transportation via Facebook.

“Emergency personnel working on the side of the road are there to protect the public, assist motorists and keep traffic moving safely. It can be dangerous work. YOU can make it safer. Keep them in mind!” says the Missouri Department of Public Safety via Facebook.

“Move Over” laws vary across states, but are generally designed to protect people along the sides of roads and highways.

Missouri’s “Move Over” law initially took effect in 2002 for emergency vehicles with red and blue lights, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

The law has expanded twice since then, and now includes vehicles whose amber or white lights are activated.

“The ‘Move Over’ law is there in place for emergency vehicles, for those vehicles that are displaying the red and blue or the amber lights,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. John Lueckenhoff in a 2020 interview with KY3. “But we need to be doing a better job.”

The Missouri Department of Public Safety says the “Move Over” Law is in effect to ensure the safety of men and women who work roadside in emergency services, including law enforcement, fire and rescue workers, ambulance personnel and tow truck operators.

Missouri’s “Move Over” law requires motorists to take the following actions when they encounter a stopped emergency services vehicle:

  • Proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way, if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions by moving into a lane that is not adjacent to the stopped emergency vehicle while on a roadway with at least four lanes, at least two of which are in the motorist’s direction of travel.
  • If a lane change is not possible, motorists must proceed with due caution and reduce their speed, maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions.

In southwest Missouri, authorities say several recent incidents shed more light on the importance of Missouri’s “Move Over” law.

Over the summer, MSHP says a trooper was finishing up a traffic stop near Purdy and went inside the patrol car shortly before it was struck from behind. In Feb. 2020, a tow truck driver for Affordable Towing was struck and killed on U.S. 65 near Springfield while he was working to tow another vehicle.

Violating Missouri’s “Move Over” law is considered a Class A misdemeanor. For more information on Missouri’s “Move Over” law, CLICK HERE.

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