An accident earlier this month, in which a woman smashed into the back of a pulled-over police cruiser, illustrates the importance of Georgia’s Move Over Law. The Move Over Law has been adopted by most states around the country, requiring motorists to change lanes when certain vehicles, personnel, or incidents are present on the shoulder of a road. In this case, WSBTV reports that an Atlanta police officer had pulled onto the shoulder to aid a driver whose car had broken down on the expressway near Glenwood Avenue in Southeast Atlanta when a woman smashed into the back of his parked patrol car. Both the police officer and driver were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.
The accident occurred on Interstate 20 when a woman approached a police cruiser stopped on the shoulder of the road and did not move over a lane or slow down under the speed limit. The woman crashed into the rear of the patrol car, causing her vehicle to spin out of control and slam head-on into a concrete wall. The woman was ticketed for violation of Georgia’s Move Over Law. Although Georgia has had this law since 2003, officers and officials in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia have made a concerted effort this year to inform drivers of the law’s specifics to keep those parked on the shoulder safer.
Georgia’s Move Over Law requires drivers to give wide berth to police or emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Failing to abide by the Move Over Law can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 3 points on a driver’s license. On a two-lane roadway, drivers must slow down to below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop. On an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes, an emergency or law enforcement vehicle is stopped on the side of the road, the driver must vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.
For workers, emergency personnel, stopped vehicles, and pedestrians, the shoulder can be a dangerous place if other drivers do not exercise extreme caution. If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile or pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Fill out the simple form to the right to receive a free consultation from a dedicated automobile accident lawyer to see if you might be able to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.