Roughly 10% of car accidents are secondary accidents. Secondary accidents are accidents which occur as a result of another incident. Unfortunately, there have been many secondary accidents which have impacted emergency response vehicles and critically injured roadside heroes. As a roadside assistance company, Southside Wrecker has experienced the danger of being on the scene of an accident or a stalled car firsthand. From police officers to firefighters to tow truck operators, many roadside heroes have been lost because of people not moving over when there has been an accident. The Georgia Move Over Law took effect in 2016 to better safeguard the roadside heroes. Although progress has been made since the law was implemented five years ago, there are still many motorists who ignore the law. Out of respect and honor for our fellow truck drivers who have lost their lives on the roadside helping, our team at Southside Wrecker wanted to share an overview of the law. If just one motorist starts abiding by the Georgia Move Over Law after reading, our efforts will have been worthwhile.

What is the Georgia Move Over Law?

If you are driving down the highway and see a stationary emergency vehicle flashing lights (amber, yellow, red, white, or blue), you should approach with caution and move a lane away from the incident. The emergency vehicles to watch for could be a police car, fire truck, ambulance, roadside assistance, tow truck, highway maintenance, etc. If you are unable to move over a lane safely, slow your speed and be prepared to stop if needed. As far as what speed to reduce to when you cannot change lanes, there is not a standard speed limit. You will need to use your discretion but consider how quickly you would be able to stop when choosing your speed. If the incident occurred while raining, you need to account for that as well. You must be able to stop quickly if needed without causing a secondary accident.

What is the Penalty for Ignoring the Law?

If you choose not to follow the Georgia Move Over Law, you could face a fine of up to $500, lose 3 points on your license, and incur court fees. Ideally, every motorist would be motivated for the safety of others, but if not, the penalty is there. Avoid the expense and hassle of the penalty by simply moving over.

Roadside heroes help with accidents every single day, knowing they are in dangerous circumstances. Honor their sacrifice and bravery by doing your part to keep them safe. Slow down and move over as soon as you see an accident. Even if an emergency vehicle has not arrived on the scene yet, moving over if you see a stalled or broken down car on the side of the road is practicing good will towards your fellow motorists. Let us all do our part to keep each other safe through each day’s journey.