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Author Topic: Move over laws  (Read 3940 times)
Lin
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« on: January 31, 2010, 09:28:30 AM »

I was unaware of this until I got an email about it this morning.  I'm posting it just in case others also did not know it existed.

http://www.moveoveramerica.com/
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 09:55:45 AM »

It's not only a good idea, it's been the law in many states for quite a while, in michigan you must move over or slow down, 'if you can do so safely', the trick is to convince the officer that it would have been unsafe for you to do so, in heavy traffic thats not hard but on sparcely traveled roads like we have up here, it can be easily done.  Michigans law encompasses not only law enforcement vehicles but also any emergency vehicle falls under the umbrella of the law.  The "if you can do so safely" was added a couple of years ago after an overly zealous driver changed lanes and pulled into the path of an oncomeing semi and a family of 4 was buried along with the officer that was doing the traffic stop, it's a law that I agree with wholeheartly, we had to sit and watch the videos in our annual training seminars that showed us how to park behind a stopped vehicle useing the patrol car to shield or partially block traffic for our protection, in an ideal situation the tagged car would signal the officer that he was aware of being stopped, then proceed to a safe spot and pull as far over as he can for everyones safety.
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 11:38:20 AM »

When I moved to Texas, I was unaware that any such law ever existed, but I have learned to respect the law, and appreciate it. I have driven too many miles, and seen too many accidents caused by absent-minded drivers, and this just gives extra distance and protection for the officers that protect us every day.

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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 11:49:46 AM »

Obviously it's a good idea to give emergency vehicles some extra room.  I must say though that I was a bit disappointed.  When I saw the name, "Move Over Laws", I thought is was about slow cars getting out of the fast lane.  I guess that would be a "Get out of the way law".
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 12:10:01 PM »

I just wish that all drivers would be taught (just a little) to drive from a bus (or truck) driver's perspective, because then they might appreciate how they create situations for us to avoid; I sometimes have to use all my experience when I drive, and not just enjoy the driving.

They say because I am "bigger", I 'rule' the road. Most "big vehicle" drivers are far more respectful and courteous than some of the 'roller skate' drivers I see every day. (And yes, we do make mistakes too.)

"Get out of the way" - "Get out of the way" - "Get out of the way" - "Get out of the way" - think I got it !!!! Grin
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 12:15:51 PM »

And New York, who has a law for everything, dosent do it....unbelievable. About 2 years ago, while I was out on a traffic stop, a car "buzzed" me at over 100mph. The wind from the car passing me pushed me into the car I stopped. Talk about changing your shorts..lol. He crashed about 8 miles later and was charged with reckless endangerment and dwi. I was a very lucky boy that day....
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2010, 12:47:48 PM »

Never being one to be satisfied with.........  Let me add this:  Cops seem to regard the "stop" as the most important aspect of their shift. It isn't!  Going home safely at the end of your shift to your wife and children is the top.  You may be required to "risk" your personal safety but only if in dire circumstance.  A traffic ticket ain't on the list of "dire qualifiers".  It has Long been policy to allow a woman to proceed to a well lit and public location prior to pulling over.  In this town that will get you declared a "rabbit" and possibly shot with a taser or 9 MM but definitely arrested.

Most of the highways in our great nation have precious little shoulder, paved or otherwise.   In LA I was puled over for speeding on I5 once.  I5?  Got that?  It was at the Y merge in Irvine headed south.  I would have had to pull through 5 lanes and then to the shoulder that is 8 feet wide to pull to the right.  The medium was all hard pack 50 feet wide each side and with the 8 foot of blacktop along the concrete.  I got 10 feet between the right side of my car and the concrete.  Oh, what a good boy am I.  Looking out for my wife and kids and the Trooper.  Not quite....he was outraged.  I barely got away without being cited for reckless endangerment for getting that far out of the way.  You could have landed a 747 in that medium and had room to spare.  This was California and a merge in any attitude other than the vertical is well within the skill set of your average Grandmother,and in LA especially.  I have been pulled over in lots of states over this land and I would have been loath to step out of the car.  We need laws and procedure that prevents cops from doing dangerous stuff.  They even had to pass a regulation in SD that required the officer to be using his seat belt when the cruiser was in motion and my friends HATED it.   They wanted to be ready to jump out of the car and give foot chase in a pursuit situation.  Pursuit!  Find some way or implement some procedure that prevents the cop from getting out of his cruiser and standing a foot from speeding traffic. We are smart enuf to do that without allowing the public to endure pandemonium at the hands of "scoff laws". Getting clipped by a 30 mph car can kill you outright as well as 65.

I volunteered as a reserve officer many years ago.  I have sympathy and yes, I "give'em a brake".

John
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010, 01:43:49 PM »

I have no problem with the move over laws.
What I have a problem with is states like NC that look for it and write gazillions of tickets for it!
It is being used here as a revenue enhancement moneymaker.
Come to think of it it is that way everywhere!
Jack
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010, 02:11:39 PM »

Personally I don't need a law for this I have always done it.  I also move over for any vehicle that has stopped on the shoulder as long as I can do so safely. Oh yeah and bicycle and peds as well.
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2010, 03:16:52 PM »

   We would always park a fire engine at an angle across the lane we were working an accident in, between us and the oncoming traffic to deflect anyone hitting it into another lane.  I have had cars & truck pass me on the interstate at 80-90 MPH, literally within 6-10 feet while I was caring for a patient.
   Having been in their position, I alway move over or slow down.  Jack
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 03:24:35 PM »

I'm with Jack and ZubZub.

Having been in the uncomfortable position of being temporarily stranded on the side of the interstate on more than one occasion, I consider it common courtesy to move over for any vehicle parked in the breakdown lane. 

Bob
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2010, 03:50:43 PM »

Amen, WildBob -

How can anybody be so stupid as not to make room. Or at least to slow down? Sad commentary that something so obvious has to be made into a 'law.'

But we all know why, don't we? JackHart nailed it, far as I'm concerned.

Sure, I agree 100% with the principle, but I disagree 100% with the motive... and the stupid sales pitch: Thousands of officers are injured or killed every year... blah, blah blah.

Right. And the Himalayan glaciers are in imminent meltdown mode. And we're gonna go broke if we don't pass Obamacare...

But heck, what do we care? Let's all have fun and let our kids sort through the wreckage.

Rodeo!

Nellie
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cody
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2010, 04:27:25 PM »

http://www.odmp.org/officer/11007-trooper-darryl-m.-rantanen    Darryl was my partner and trainer.   Page 29   http://www.michigan.gov/documents/fallnoffcrs_3282_7.pdf
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Iceni John
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2010, 04:38:06 PM »

As a California resident I have a question:

CVC 21706.5 says that traffic in the opposite lanes of the freeway is not in an "emergency incident zone".   OK, but why are drivers on divided streets (such as Harbor Boulevard running through Costa Mesa that has a grass median some of its length separating the directions of traffic) required to pull over and stop.   If it's essentially impossible to cross the median, and an emergency vehicle is going without delay in one direction, why does all traffic going the opposite direction also have to stop?   I can understand why if it's an undivided road, but why also on a road with a physical barrier running along its median?

Just curious.
John  
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2010, 04:41:33 PM »

In 2003, the International Association of Chiefs of Police established the Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee to research officer safety during traffic stops.  Their recommendations fall into three areas 1) the police vehicle 2) highway design and 3) traffic stop policies.  In 2004 the subcommittee released their findings/recommendations. This is a very informative document.

Brian S.
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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2010, 04:42:40 PM »

Troopers stopping someone on the shoulder of the road is just the way they have always done it. In the State of Maryland they had a procedure where a team of Police did speed enforcement. The Officer that was going to write the ticket actually jumped out into traffic to point at the car that was to pull over. A couple of years ago, after losing an Officer on this duty (surprise), the Maryland State Police bureaucrats finally had a light bulb moment and thought there must be a better way.

It seems to me that law enforcement officers could implement a procedure where the offender was escorted to the next exit ramp with the stop taking place on the ramp. That would at least be where speeds and traffic volume were lowest. Those two factors would seem to me to provide the safest environment for the Officer and the offender.

FWIW I too make it a practice to move away from any stopped vehicle AND to reduce my speed. I've always wondered with traffic operating 10 - 15 over the posted if one simply reduced their speed to the posted would they be in compliance with this law?
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2010, 04:45:02 PM »

Cody, do you know the Retired MI State Trooper that did the "Room to Live" seat belt videos?  If so what is his name?
They were the most effective ones I have seen!
Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2010, 04:49:11 PM »

ExpressBus, you may want to almost come to a stop to keep from getting a ticket if you can't go into the next lane...they are hungry wolves out there...with instructions to write ANY ticket they can!
And yes...I used to watch those fools litteraly jump out into the middle of a lane to tell someone to pull over. I thought it pretty stupid then too!
Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
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cody
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2010, 04:49:59 PM »

That would have been jack ware, I'm not sure if the video is still available tho.
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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2010, 04:53:34 PM »

Several years ago a company I was with was going to purchase them for several schools, they were several hundred dollars each, we did not purchase near what we would have liked to.
GREAT video!
Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2010, 05:53:07 PM »

Interestingly, the CHP in CA, when doing a routine traffic stop (are any of them ever routine??), now has the officer approach the vehicle from the passenger side, away from traffic.  Still positions the patrol car as a shield, but the potential for traffic-related injury is substantially reduced.

Wonder why more jurisdictions don't follow suit?

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2010, 06:08:46 PM »

RJ,

That policy must be spreading. I've recently noticed Georgia State Patrol and county police around metro Atlanta doing the same thing.

Bob
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2010, 06:15:18 PM »

They do the same here in AZ but we still have the move over or slow down law.
Dummy me didn't even know it was the law here till I read about it because growing up in Texas it was always a pratice the DPS guys would really get pissed when you blew their Stetsons off don't ask how I know that lol.  



good luck
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010, 06:23:42 PM »

I am so glad to see such solid support for the law to protect officers doing their job. I agree, it must not be used as a money grab, but I also agree with the comment that moving over should be fo ALL vehicles on the side of the road.

Recently, just north of Houston, a husband stopped to let his wife drive, and while walking around the vehicle, they were struck by a pick-up and he was killed.

Move over - give room - make life safer for everyone.
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2010, 06:30:31 PM »

Room to Live

Room to Live II

Room to Live III

The New Room to Live

Brian S.
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Brian Shonk
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2010, 06:43:41 PM »

I agree with those that say it is basically common sense to give any vehicle, person, or bicycle on the road side extra room.  Traffic permitting, I often drive in the left lane figuring that one never knows when something will pop out on the right.  It would make a lot of sense for officers to escort their mark to the next safe place to pull over though.  I wonder if this is not done because it would take more time and thereby reduce traffic ticket income.  It is a bit ingenuous to think that the CHP is out there with only our safety in mind and not with a strong motivation to generate income.  One might argue that if the state cared more about the lives of officers than the money, it would be policy to have traffic stops completed in safe places when possible.  I have been pulled over before where the officer got on his loudspeaker and told me to proceed to the next exit or clearing.  It would seem that radar traps could easily be staged where such things were available.
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2010, 06:52:49 PM »

Thanks for linking those old Room to Live Videos!
JAck
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2010, 06:56:55 PM »

Are my eyes deceiving me or did we just have consensus on a subject??? I never thought I'd live to see the day when we would all agree on something. We better watch it or we'll all start driving Eagles or something!!! Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Just kidding.


I am impressed and I am in full agreement as well.

Rick
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2010, 07:18:10 PM »

I was unaware of this until I got an email about it this morning. 

Why would you NOT just move over anyhow, if you have the room?

It doesn't matter if it's an EV or not -- anything parked on the side of the road is likely to hatch a pedestrian at any time, and they tend to be fragile.
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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2010, 08:09:20 PM »

BG6,

I am nor sure if the comment was specifically for me, but as mentioned above that is my normal practice anyway.  However, I still think that it is good to be aware that it is a law.  Apparently at times there have been traps set up where they radar passing cars and ticket them if they are not at least 20 mph below that posted speed limit.  These traps can involve a half dozen units.  I find it odd that these laws are not common knowledge.  Everyone knows about child safety seat requirements, but in that case it is to the advantage of safety seat manufacturers to get the news out.  Certainly insurance companies want you to know about seat belt laws.  In this case, it is unlikely that a unit in the midst of an emergency or even just writing a citation will have the ability to enforce the law on those passing at the time.  Even when they set up enforcement traps for move over laws, they really educate only a handful of motorists.  The others that pass by assume they are issuing speeding tickets. 
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« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2010, 08:27:54 PM »

I don't know about elsewhere, but I don't think the Minnesota law state how much you have to slow down if you don't change lanes.  I believe slowing by even 1 MPH would meet the letter, if not the spirit, of the law.

Do other states actually state how many MPH somebody must slow down by?  It seems the Highway Police should have something better to do than place a dummy car on the shoulder.  (Isn't that entrapment?)  What if someone gets hurt or killed changing lanes for a dummy car?  (I certainly understand ticketing for speeding and the like.)

Like others, I try to move over for any vehicle on the shoulder as long as traffic allows.
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cody
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« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2010, 08:31:38 PM »

I can't find any reference in the michigan codes that say what the slow down rate must be, the way it's worded is to move over or slow down if it can be done safely, it's kind of a common sence approach to the problem, I don't recall any situation or time where michigan on the state level has set up sting operations to enforce the law, I guess I can see where it could happen but we never had the manpower to utilize that many officers in such a small area, when I worked out of the gladstone post in the escanaba area, our range covered over 75 miles in any particular direction, often creating overlaps with other posts, the day shift patrols were single officer patrols and we had more cars than officers lol, at that time we had 6 troopers, 2 desk sargents that switched off paper duty and the shift commander, any after dark patrols were a 2 officer patrol and in my case, all rookies had to partner up for the first year, any first year troopers wages came out of the training budget and not the posts budget so we didn't even count as a roster filler.  Any calls for backup were normally handled by a sheriffs department or local car but for the most part you were pretty much on your own so you learned quickly how to deal with the public effectively, nobody wanted the additional paperwork a critical incident would create so we were 'officer friendly' most of the time, besides, most of the cars we saw were the same local cars we watched everyday anyway so it didn't take long before you were able to spot the repeaters, we really didn't have the 'John Waynes' that some areas suffered from, most of the officers were pretty much more inclined to explain the error of a persons ways and then let them get on their way to church lol, but state budgets were more flush then too.
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« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2010, 10:19:35 PM »

As a California resident I have a question:

CVC 21706.5 says that traffic in the opposite lanes of the freeway is not in an "emergency incident zone".   OK, but why are drivers on divided streets ... required to pull over and stop.   If it's essentially impossible to cross the median, and an emergency vehicle is going without delay in one direction, why does all traffic going the opposite direction also have to stop?


First, let's note this is a different subject than the Move Over law that started the thread.

To answer your question:  On a "freeway" (as that term is defined in CVC) it is essentially impossible for the authorized emergency vehicle to cross the median into your lanes.  Yes, there are special crossovers for that purpose, and on freeways with more than 46' of median there might not be a physical divider, so theoretically emergency vehicles could cross anywhere, but practically speaking it is rare, and you'd have plenty of time to see them doing it (thus putting them now on your side, where you are required to stop).

On a regular "divided road," however, there are normally many openings in the median, for cross-streets, driveways, etc., and the emergency vehicle that is coming at you in the opposite direction may very well be going to an emergency on your side of the road, or planning to turn across your path down a side street.  With all those flashing lights, you'd never notice his turn signals, if he even has the time to activate them.  Lastly, fire apparatus, ambulances, and police cruisers have been known to drive right over concrete medians if that will shave a half minute off the response time.  So you are required to stop immediately wherever you are.

Yes, you can argue that some medians are uncrossable for long distances (Jersey barriers, hedge rows, etc.), but that's not universal, and experience has shown that the law can not leave this sort of matter to the judgment of individual drivers, many of whom won't even notice the gaps.  So for safety's sake, the law requires the stop in all cases.

I can tell you from experience that it does not matter how many flashing lights and sirens you have, there are drivers out there who will drive right in front of you.

The law in most other states is similar:  Red (or Blue) Light, Move Right (and stop when safe to do so).

-Sean
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