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The misunderstood “Move Over” law

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 5:48 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - We are pulled over alongside the road with NHP Trooper Charles Caster. His NHP vehicle has its red and blue lights on which means the “Move Over” law is now in effect. Look into on-coming traffic some drivers plan ahead and move one lane over. With conditions right, this is the best option, even if the driver must slow down to get over a lane. Trooper Caster comments on how well the cars are doing that move well before they get to his car.

For those who can’t move over Trooper Caster says it is best to slow down. Straddling a lane doesn’t cut it, he says. But then there are those who do neither or better yet, lose their patience with the slower traffic, move to the next lane with the pulled over vehicle...and floor it.

“That Mustang right there,” he says of a newer model Mustang that speeds right past his car. “Now they are slowing down,” the trooper says. “That mustang was in a hurry. That’s the kind of person we want to stop,” says Trooper Caster.

Ask Trooper Caster if the AAA survey which shows 40% of drivers don’t know or understand the law?

“From the number of drivers we see passing us, in that unsafe lane, every single day every single trooper sees on a traffic stop,” he says. “That leads me to believe the number is higher,” says Trooper Caster.

Very simply the law is designed to move traffic away from a vehicle pulled over to the side with its hazard lights on.

“It is just being courteous. Being a good motorist to your fellow motorist,” says Trooper Caster.

Trooper Caster says it doesn’t have to be an emergency--the law applies there as well. It also applies when there is debris on the roadway or a driver is making repairs to his car.

He says even as a law enforcement officer with a clearly marked vehicle, cars come dangerously close to his car where unlike this roadway, he has no place to escape.

“This is officer safety, public safety, this is safety for everyone,” he says.

In addition to the move over law there’s the “Pull to the Right” law. That law says if an emergency vehicle is behind you with lights, siren or both a driver must pull to the right when safe to do so.

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