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Idaho's Move Over Law


Motorcycle Cop

 

49-624. Driver duty upon approaching a stationary police vehicle or an authorized emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights. The driver of a motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary police vehicle displaying flashing lights or an authorized emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights shall:

(1) If the driver is traveling on a highway with two (2) or more lanes carrying traffic in the same direction, immediately reduce the speed of his vehicle below the posted speed limit, proceed with due caution and, if traveling in a lane adjacent to the stationary police vehicle displaying flashing lights or the authorized emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, change lanes into a lane that is not adjacent to such vehicle as soon as it is possible to do so in a manner that is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing, with regard to actual and potential hazards.

(2) If the driver is traveling on a highway with one (1) lane for each direction of travel, immediately reduce the speed of his vehicle below the posted speed limit, and maintain a safe speed for the road, weather and traffic conditions until completely past the stationary police vehicle or authorized emergency vehicle.

 

Officers face many dangers as they work to keep the public safe, but one of the greatest dangers comes not as they face armed criminals, engage in pursuits, or perform harrowing rescues. Statistically, officers are in great danger when they do something they do routinely every day - make a traffic stop.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) 2012 Fallen Heroes Report shows that traffic-related crashes are the second leading cause of officer deaths. Latest data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund report shows, of the 163 officers killed in the line of duty in 2011, forty-seven local, state, and federal officers died in traffic-related incidents.

As a result of this troubling trend, the NLEOMF report calls for “a driving public that is more attentive to officer safety when approaching accident scenes and traffic stops.”

Idaho Code - 49-624 which is aimed at addressing the problem, also known by some as the "Move Over Law," requires motorists to either move over a lane or at least slow down when approaching a stationary police or emergency services vehicle.

“Anyone who works alongside our roadways are vulnerable, but police especially are in constant danger,” said Sgt. Doug Winfield of the Caldwell Police Department. "That’s why Idaho's Move-Over Law was created…” said Winfield, “…to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities to police officers, paramedics, firefighters, tow truck operators and roadway maintenance workers.”

“The Move-Over Law was passed to keep motorists from running over us,” said Cpl. Gregory, a Caldwell Police motor officer. “It can be nerve racking,” he said. “Sometimes the vehicles are so close you can feel the wind from their side view mirrors blow across the back of your neck.”