What you may not know about the Move Over Law in Massachusetts


(WWLP) – Did you know that in all 50 states motorists are required to slow down and move over one lane safely when approaching emergency workers on the side of the road?

According to new data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 23% of drivers are unaware that such traffic laws exist. Approximately 24 first responders die each year across the United States and as of this year about 14 tow providers have been killed while providing others roadside assistance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2015, 1,600 people have been struck and killed while outside a disabled vehicle on the side of the road by a passing vehicle.

AAA is committed to raising awareness of the law and encouraging all Massachusetts drivers to be on the lookout for flashing blue, red and yellow lights as a signal to slow down and provide safe workspace. It is critical to spread awareness about these issues because these deaths are preventable if drivers could slow down and give first responders, tow drivers and work crews enough space to do their work safely.

The Massachusetts Move Over law went into effect on March 22, 2009, the failure to comply with the law can result in a fine of up to $100. Although, people are aware of this law these incidents continue to happen.

Distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding and following other vehicles too closely are all contributing factors to crashes involving people on the roadside. Many people report failing to comply with the law because they feel they don’t have enough space to change lanes safely (87%) and slowing down could cause a crash with another vehicle (42%).

It is apparent that staying alert, using directional signals to change lanes and driving courteously to enable other motorists to change lanes or slow down comfortably will save lives.

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