Prior to July 1 of this year, drivers had to move over when law enforcement or emergency vehicles were on the side of the road. The law came into effect because of the dangerous nature of these jobs. As people work on the side of the road, they are exposed to cars often traveling at excessive speeds, and drivers who may not be paying attention. Too many auto fatalities were occurring every year in Idaho. The “move over” law was intended to reduce the number of those deaths.
But it is not just law enforcement, paramedics, and firefighters who work at the side of the road. Tow truck drivers are 15 times at greater risk of being killed on the job than any other private industry. For this reason, tow trucks are also included in the law. They are also not the only new additions. The amendment to the law now protects maintenance workers, such as those removing debris, animal carcasses, and other objects.
“Clearly not enough thought went into the law the first time around,” says Bruce Skaug of Skaug Law. “There are many different types of workers at the side of the road every day. Motorists should always move around them when driving and provide workers with as much room as possible. The new amendment to the original legislation makes good sense.”
Working on the side of the road, is extremely dangerous. This is particularly true on interstates and highways, where motorists are often traveling at speeds up to 80 miles an hour. Too many times in Idaho vehicles traveling at these speeds have struck and killed workers by the roadway.
One thing that has not changed with the new law is the penalty. Drivers who fail to move over for emergency personnel, tow truck drivers, or other workers, will face the same $90 citation they did under the old law.