The National Safety Council reported that 198 people died in auto accidents with emergency vehicles in 2021 in the United States. Many times, these accidents resulted from a vehicle striking emergency personnel who were out of the vehicle on the side of the road.
Drivers must be aware of and adhere to traffic laws designed to enhance safety for everyone on the road. One such law that plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of emergency personnel and other drivers is the Move Over law.
About the law
The Move Over law in Indiana, Indiana Code 9-21-8-35.7, mandates that drivers change lanes away from emergency vehicles parked on the side of the road when it is safe to do so. If changing lanes is not possible due to traffic or other conditions, drivers must significantly reduce their speed while passing the emergency vehicle. This law applies to a wide range of emergency vehicles, including police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, displaying flashing lights.
The primary purpose of the Move Over law is to provide a safety buffer for emergency personnel working on the side of the road. When drivers move over or slow down, it creates a safer environment for these professionals to carry out their duties, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. By obeying this law, drivers contribute to the overall well-being of their communities and support the efficient functioning of emergency services.
Failure to comply with the Move Over law can result in serious consequences, including fines and potential license points. However, the significance of this law extends beyond the legal ramifications. It is about fostering a culture where drivers prioritize the safety of those who work tirelessly to protect and serve.
Indiana’s Move Over law underscores the importance of proactive and responsible driving. It is not merely a legal requirement but a moral obligation.