Indiana Amends Move Over Law

Hoosiers need to always give first responders a wide berth on state roads so  they can do their jobs safely without creating an add-on highway accident in the process.

In 1999, Indiana became the first state in the U.S. to pass a law (Indiana Code section 9-21-8-35) requiring drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles–including but not limited to police cruisers on construction details–with lights flashing. Emergency vehicles under the state’s  "move over" law include police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and rescue vehicles, highway incident response vehicles and highway work vehicles, tow trucks, and utility service vehicles.

Two changes to the law took effect at the beginning of this month:  Motorists must reduce their speed by 10 mph under the posted speed limit if they cannot move to an adjacent lane safely. Secondly, the law now includes the aforementioned utility service vehicles. Indiana State Police and Transportation Department officials warn against coming to a stop on the road rather than slowing down. Stopping could lead to chain-reaction traffic road accidents.

Local media appropriately notes the following in the context roadway safety and the move over law: "During this time of year highway work crews are out in road construction zones repairing Indiana roadways. Always use extra care and reduce your speed in these zones."

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