Sergio Avila

1 in 4 Adults Are Unfamiliar With Their State’s Move Over Law

California drivers can be fined up to $1,000 if they don't comply with the state’s Move Over law

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2021) – If you have ever been stranded on the side of the road with cars flying by at highway speeds, you understand the challenges roadside emergency workers face every day. But, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, most drivers who don't comply with Move Over laws don't realize how dangerous it is for individuals waiting or working at the side of the road.

New data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety provides the following perspectives on driver attitudes and ideas on Move Over laws:

  • Of those who don’t comply with Move Over laws, 42 percent thought failure to move over was somewhat or not dangerous for roadside emergency workers.
  • Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23 percent) are not aware of the Move Over law in the state in which they live.
  • Among those aware of their state's Move Over laws, about 15 percent say they do not understand the potential consequences of breaking the law.

California drivers can be fined up to $1,000 plus points on their record if they do not move over or slow down while driving by any vehicle with flashing lights pulled to the side of a road or highway.

"Many drivers may not realize how risky it is for those working or stranded along roads and highways close to moving traffic,” said Sergio Avila, spokesperson, AAA Northern California. “If you see something, anything, on the shoulder ahead, slow down and move over, every vehicle, every time.”

To protect those working or stranded at the side of the road, AAA Northern California encourages drivers to:

  • Stay alert, avoid distractions and concentrate on the task of driving.
  • Watch for situations where emergency vehicles, tow trucks, public service vehicles, or disabled vehicles on the side of the road.
  • Slow down and, if possible, keep one lane away from people and their vehicles stranded on the side of the road.

About Slow Down, Move Over

Since 2007, AAA has been instrumental in passing Move Over laws in all states, including advocating for those laws to cover tow providers and other emergency responders. These laws require motorists to move over one lane or slow down when approaching an incident where tow providers, police, firefighters, or emergency medical service crews work at the roadside. In addition, many states have also expanded their laws to cover other vehicles, such as utility and municipal (e.g., sanitation vehicles) fleets and any disabled vehicle on the side of the road. Additionally, AAA clubs have participated in educational and advocacy initiatives, creating public service announcements and reaching out to state officials. But, there is more work to be done. AAA is committed to raising awareness of the Move Over laws and the dangers of working at the roadside.

About the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation's mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by researching their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research develops educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users.