Far too often officers police officers and other emergency responders such as EMTs and tow truck operators are injured or killed by passing vehicles while stopped responding to an accident, a distressed vehicle or making a traffic stop. As a result, Louisiana has enacted a Move Over Law to prevent injuries to police officers and other first responders.
Under the Move Over Law, when a driver approaches a stopped emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, the driver should change lanes away from emergency vehicle. If it is not possible to change lanes, the driver should reasonably reduce their speed.
The Move Over Law is outlined in Louisiana R.S. 32:125, when an emergency vehicle is parked on the side of the road with any visual signals, the diver of every other vehicle shall:
(1) If on an interstate or highway with two or more lanes in the same direction, vehicles should yield the right of way by making a lane change away from the stopped vehicle, if possible. If unable to make a lane change, the driver should slow to a reasonably safe speed.
(2) Maintain a safe speed for road conditions if unable/ unsafe to change lanes or driving on a two-lane road.
The law also imposes a penalty, up to $200, for those who fail to comply with Louisiana’s Move Over Law.