|Douglas County Highway Traffic Safety Commission
Traffic Law of the Month
Move Over Law:
Drivers must provide a safety zone for stopped
law enforcement and other emergency vehicles
A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper was fortunate to sustain only minor injuries when his cruiser, which was stopped on the side of a highway with its emergency lights activated, was hit in the rear by a vehicle in December. The trooper reported, “I sustained minor injuries but will live to serve another day without permanent or life-altering effects. Other troopers have not been so lucky, losing limbs or their lives.”
To provide a safety zone for law enforcement officers and other workers on the side of roadways, drivers must comply with Wisconsin’s Move Over Law.
Drivers are required to shift lanes if possible or at least slow down when encountering a law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, highway maintenance vehicle or utility vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing. On interstate highways and other divided roads with multiple directional lanes, you must move over to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle if you can safely switch lanes. If the road has a single directional lane or you can’t safely move over because of traffic, you must reduce your speed until safely past the vehicle.
A citation for a Move Over Law violation costs $263.50 with three demerit points added to your driver’s license.
During winter months, law enforcement officers, tow truck operators and others frequently must respond to crashes and assist motorists whose vehicles have slid off icy roads. Officers and other workers are in danger of being hit while inside or outside their vehicles by out-of-control or speeding vehicles that did not move over. Drivers have a legal and moral responsibility to help protect those who must work on the side of busy roads. By obeying the Move Over Law, drivers can protect themselves, their passengers, our officers and others who work on highways from serious injuries and deaths.
The Douglas County Highway Traffic Safety Commission meets at least quarterly to discuss issues related to traffic safety in Douglas County. The commission is comprised of members from local law enforcement, WI State Patrol, WI DOT, fire, EMS, education, the legal profession and citizenry.
The WI Department of Transportation and the WI State Patrol distribute statewide the traffic law of the month in an effort to educate the public and enhance highway safety. This page will be used to publish those laws and discuss any other issues related to highway safety here in Douglas County. Check back often for updates!
To learn more about the role of your county or city traffic safety commission CLICK HERE.