A common-sense practice that road veterans have followed for
decades would be mandated if a bill in the Rhode Island Senate becomes law.
The measure, dubbed the "Move Over" bill, is designed to
protect police and other emergency personnel during roadside stops.
Sponsored by Sen. John Tassoni Jr., D-Smithfield, the bill
would require motorists to maintain a safe distance and reduce speed when
approaching stationary emergency vehicles that are alongside the road with
their lights flashing.
On highways with two or more lanes in one direction, drivers
would be required to merge into a lane further away from an emergency vehicle.
Drivers also would be required to reduce speed to 10 mph below the posted limit
before passing the emergency vehicle.
Failure to obey the law would result in a $75 fine.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures,
at least 30 states have implemented similar safety zone rules.
Rhode Island's effort - SB23 - is in the Senate Judiciary
Similar measures have been offered this year in states that
include Connecticut, Montana and New Jersey.