Massachusetts bill would require drivers to move over

| 8/24/2005

A practice followed by professional truck drivers for decades would be mandatory for all drivers if an effort in the Massachusetts General Court is approved.

The measure, dubbed the “Move Over” bill, is designed to protect police and other emergency personnel during roadside stops.

Motorists would be required to yield the right-of-way when an ambulance or police vehicle is approaching with lights and sirens activated.

They also would be required to maintain a safe distance and reduce speed when approaching stationary emergency vehicles by the road with their lights flashing.

Sponsored by Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, D-Revere, H1966 would require drivers to merge into a lane further away from an emergency vehicle. On two-lane highways, drivers would be required to reduce speed by 20 mph before passing the emergency vehicle.

Failure to obey the rule would result in a $50 fine.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 30 states have implemented similar rules.