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Virginia Expands Move Over Law

October 18, 2019

Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers discuss the expansion of VA's Move Over Law. Virginia’s Move Over Laws were recently expanded, and motorists should be aware that the fines and punishments have increased. Specifically, drivers that fail to move aside when law enforcement vehicles are on the shoulder will incur reckless driving charges. Those that do not yield for other types of emergency vehicles will end be charged with traffic violations. Emergency vehicles include:

  • Law enforcement vehicles
  • Virginia Department of Transportation vehicles
  • Fire rescue vehicles
  • Ambulances

The Importance of Move Over Laws

Every state has a Move Over Law, and the specifics vary. They are designed to safeguard emergency vehicles and personnel, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 71 percent of Americans were not familiar with them. Making emergency or traffic stops on the side of a road or highway is very dangerous, and many have been injured when in these vulnerable situations. This is in addition to the risks of motor vehicles crashing into emergency vehicles.

Virginia’s Move Over Law was created in 2002 and was amended by House Bill 1911 over the summer. It is in effect on highways that have four or more lanes. Motorists that see a stationary emergency vehicle’s flashing lights must proceed cautiously and change lanes. If it is not possible for the driver to change lanes, they are required to slow down.

Fines and Penalties

In the past, violating Virginia’s Move Over Law resulted in fines of $250. Now, first time violators will still be punished with a simple traffic infraction and a $250 fine, but repeat offenders may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of $2,500 and jail time. If there is property damage, injury, or death from breaking this law, the offender could lose their license.

Giving the Right of Way

Basically, motorists that see emergency vehicles that are employing visual signals are supposed to give them the right of way. This can be done by:

  • Moving to another lane that is not right next to the emergency vehicle
  • Slowing down
  • Turning on hazard lights
  • Pulling over into a safe area

A Public Information Campaign

In July, State Highway Patrols from six states joined together for a Move Over Law advocacy project to increase public awareness, which consisted of state police and troopers from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. High-visibility enforcement of the Move Over Law was stepped up in the states during the campaign, which lasted for a week. According to the Indiana State Police Sergeant and Public Information Officer, helping people understand how the laws work will help save lives.

Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Offer Trusted Legal Guidance for All Car Accidents

If you need legal advice for a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we strive to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.

301 Bendix Road, Suite 460
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-994-8910