Vague "move over" laws confuse drivers

Driving on Georgia highways is not always easy. In many areas, congested traffic makes travel frustrating, and your daily commute may leave you tense and agitated when you finally arrive home from work. However, for those who work in emergency services and utility response, arriving home safely is their most fervent hope.

An increasing number of police, rescue workers, utility personnel and sanitation workers lose their lives in the line of duty when motorists fail to slow down. Because of this, Georgia and numerous other states have enacted move over laws. If you are unfamiliar with these laws, you risk stiff penalties.

Move it on over

Some drivers feel that police misuse the "move over" laws, and that local governments are making a lot of money from unsuspecting motorists. The details of the law include these points:

  • You must pull into the adjacent lane when passing an emergency vehicle that has stopped on the side of the road.
  • If it is not safe to pull over, you must slow down to a speed that seems reasonably safe.
  • If you receive a ticket for violating the move over law, you may owe a fine of up to $500.

While the law seems clear enough, apparently, some aspects are open to police interpretation. For example, some of you may slow down to a speed that seems reasonable only to have police pull you over and write a ticket because the officer said you were still driving too fast.

In fact, investigations show that police may set up road traps supposedly to educate drivers about the move over law. However, drivers often find themselves with tickets instead of warnings.

Traffic tickets are not so simple

If you got a ticket for not moving over for an emergency vehicle, perhaps it was because the other lane was not clear for you to safely move. Maybe you slowed down, but an officer wrote you a ticket nonetheless. While safety of emergency personnel is certainly important, you still have the right to fight the charge if it is unjust.

While it may seem easier to simply pay the fine for this or any driving offense, if you do so, it means you admit guilt. In some cases, a judge may also levy points to your record, which could place your license in jeopardy. On top of this, you will likely be left with court costs in addition to your fine. By contacting an attorney with experience defending drivers from Georgia traffic violations, you improve your chances of successfully fighting the ticket.

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