Move Over, Slow Down — New Law

I heard this story from a friend.  If you drive you are faced with situations like this.

I wanted to give you a heads up about a relatively new law because of a traffic citation I received Sunday morning. As I was travelling in the right lane on the Toll Rd to the airport, I came upon a stopped state trooper on the right shoulder who had stopped a vehicle.  He was pulled all the way over on the shoulder. I was driving the speed limit and remained in my lane and even slowed down.  There was a speeding car that passed in the left lane, thus I stayed in my lane. The next thing I know, the trooper is behind us with his lights flashing and I thought he was going to go after the speeding car, but instead, he pulled me over.
The first thing the officer said was that I was not speeding, but the reason he pulled me over was that I was supposed to move over to the left lane prior to passing a stopped emergency vehicle. I told him I wasn’t aware of the law and he said he had just gotten hit the previous day by someone who hadn’t moved over. I thought he would give me a warning since I wasn’t aware of the law and was driving responsibly and haven’t gotten a ticket in over 10 years, but he gave me a summons where I have to appear in court. This is a class 1 misdemeanour violation which can result from up to $2500 in fines and up to 1 year in jail.

If you are driving on a four-lane highway with at least two lanes in your direction of travel, the law does, indeed, require a driver in the right lane to yield the right-of-way by moving over into the left lane if the lane change can be made safely given the traffic conditions.  If it is not safe to change lanes, then the driver is required to proceed with caution.

If you or someone you know gets pulled over and charged with a violation of this relatively new law, give us a call.  Although we don’t represent people charged with traffic violations, we know many good, experienced lawyers who do and are happy to refer clients to those other lawyers.

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