New law requires motorists to change lanes to avoid emergency vehicles
March 21, 2009
By Boston Globe Staff
If you see a police car on the side of the road, better move it on over.
A new law -- dubbed the "Slow Down, Move Over" law -- goes into effect Sunday. The law asks drivers approaching emergency situations to leave the lane closest to the incident, if possible, and slow down to a reasonable rate of speed.
Officials from the State Police, the Massachusetts Highway Department, and AAA Southern New England are hoping it will eliminate some of the injuries and fatalities among police officers, other emergency personnel, highway workers, and tow truck drivers, whose work takes them to the side of the road.
State Police say there is no specified speed limit in the law. But violators face a fine of up to $100.
The law was passed by the Legislature Dec. 22. Massachusetts will become the 44th state with such a law, State Police spokesman David Procopio said earlier this week. Rhode Island enacted its own "Move Over Law" last July.