California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill into law that
mandates a practice that has been followed by professional drivers for decades.
The new law, previously SB1610, requires drivers to move over or slow
down when approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing while
stopped by the side of the road. Violators would face a $50 fine.
California law already requires drivers in the state to
pull over and make way for approaching emergency vehicles with sirens and
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, the “Move Over, Slow Down”
law is at least similar to rules implemented in nearly 40 states. California’s version takes effect Jan. 1.
“This bill is about promoting highway safety, plain and simple,”
Simitian said in a written statement. “I hope that it will put a stop to the
senseless deaths of police officers, tow truck drivers, paramedics, and other
emergency personnel who are simply helping stranded motorists.”
During the past five years, a dozen police and state road workers have
been killed along California roads, the Mercury