June 4, 2009
"Move Over" Law
During the past several months, trucks from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation have been struck while in breakdown lanes or while conducting striping operations. Also several State Police cruisers have been struck while troopers were investigating other accidents. Emergency personnel such as police, fire, EMS and tow truck operators are still coming into contact with drivers that will not move over or slow down while they are conducting operations on the road side.
As a reminder to motorists, you must vacate the lane of travel next to an emergency vehicle as it displays its emergency lights so long as it is safe to do so. If you cannot move over, you must maintain a reduced speed so that you can stop if the emergency worker enters the roadway.
Section 265:37-a Motorist Duties When Approaching Highway Emergencies. – When in or approaching an incident involving a fire, collision, disaster, or other emergency resulting in partial or complete blockage of a highway, or a location where a police officer has made a traffic stop, every driver other than the driver of an emergency response vehicle, shall:
I. Maintain a reduced speed.
II. Obey the directions of any authorized person directing traffic and of all applicable emergency signals and traffic control devices.
III. Vacate as soon as possible any lane wholly or partially blocked.
IV. Give a wide berth, without endangering oncoming traffic, to public safety personnel, any persons in the roadway, and stationary vehicles displaying blue, red, or amber emergency or warning lights.
The Division of State Police will be stepping up its enforcement efforts in an attempt to educate the public and promote safe operations on our highways. We ask members of the press to assist with this campaign and notify the public. This law is now in effect in 46 states. People are encouraged to view the national Web site for the Move Over America campaign.
The Division of State Police, NH Department of Transportation and other emergency workers will be holding a Press Conference on June 8, 2009 at 1:00 PM at the Department of Safety Building located at 33 Hazen Drive in Concord. There will be several struck vehicles on display along with several speakers to address this issue. Also there will be more information on ongoing and new construction projects which effect roadway work zones.