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What is the Alabama move over law?

You may think when you change lanes to provide emergency vehicles on the road more room that you’re being generous and kind, but law enforcement wants you to know—it’s the law. For the safety of everyone involved, drivers and emergency personnel, motorists are required to leave a wide girth of space to emergency vehicles and personnel on the side of the road.  

Move Over. It’s the Law.

The Alabama Move Over Act (Section 32-5A-58.2), passed in 2009, is designed to protect both law enforcement officers and emergency personnel assisting motorists on the side of the road, as well as tow operators who are conducting business on Alabama’s roadways. 

If drivers are unable to switch lanes safely, they must slow to a speed that is at least 15 mph less than the speed posted, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. 

Key Factors to Keep In Mind

  • Make note if you notice any type of emergency or work-related vehicles with flashing lights flashing (red, blue, or amber). 
  • If you are on a highway with four or more lanes: move over one lane or if it’s unsafe, slow down to at least 15 mph below the posted speed limit.
  • If the posted speed limit is 20 mph or below, slow down to at least 10 mph. 
  • If you are traveling on a two-lane road, move as far away from the emergency vehicles as possible and slow down to 15 miles below the speed limit. 

The Alabama Move Over Act doesn’t only protect emergency personnel, it’s for your safety as well! In September 2019, a new amendment was passed with increased fines associated with violation of the Alabama Move Over Act. Violation of this law will result in fines as follows: (1) $100 for a first offense; (2) $150 for a second offense; and (3) $200 for a third offense. 

Failure to follow this law puts you and emergency personnel in danger. Be aware, and move over!

Contact Wettermark Keith today if you or someone you love was injured in an accident due to no fault of their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Violating the Alabama Move Over Law can result in a fine of up to $100 for a first offense, with potential increases for subsequent violations. Points may also be added to the driver’s license, and repeated offenses can lead to higher penalties.

The law applies whenever you approach an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or utility vehicle stopped on the roadside with flashing lights activated. Drivers must move over a lane or slow down significantly if moving over isn't safe or possible.

The law was enacted to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries to emergency and roadside service personnel working along busy roads. It was introduced in response to numerous accidents involving responders, aiming to enhance their safety during operations.

Yes, all 50 states in the U.S. have enacted some form of Move Over Law. While specifics can vary, the core intent—to safeguard emergency and roadside workers by requiring drivers to slow down and move over—is consistent across the nation.

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If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.