Beginning Monday, Jan. 1, California law enforcement can
ticket drivers for failure to do what professional drivers have done for
decades - move over or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle with its
lights flashing while stopped by the side of the road.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the "Move Over" law,
previously SB1610, earlier this year but enforcement of the protection measure was
not scheduled to take effect until Monday. Anyone found to not be following the
new rule will face a $50 fine.
The new rule goes along with existing California law that
requires drivers in the state to pull over and make way for approaching
emergency vehicles with sirens and lights activated.
"This bill is about promoting highway safety, plain and
simple," Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, 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
Supporters of the effort are hopeful it will help reduce the
number of injuries and fatalities that result from people who don't move over.
During the past five years, a dozen police and state road workers have been
killed along California roads, the Mercury