Any time you encounter a motor vehicle accident or roadwork on the side of the road, you may observe individuals near the roadways either seeking aid or carrying out work duties. Although this may appear like a routine scenario, whenever a problem arises on a roadway, it is a highly dangerous situation for those exposed at the scene of the event.

For example, when a car accident occurs, law enforcement offices, emergency medical professionals, and those involved in the crash may be near the vehicles and the road, such as on a highway where other vehicles are traveling at high speeds. To combat these hazardous circumstances, California has a Move Over Law to reduce the frequency of these accidents and save the lives of those vulnerable on the side of a busy roadway during a crash or engaging in important roadwork. 

What Is the California Move Over Law?

The Move Over Law is a law within the California Vehicle Code that tells drivers to take action when they see emergency lights or amber lights ahead on the road. The statute provides that the driver, when approaching a scene involving an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or another road work vehicle, must, when possible, move over to the next available lane away from the scene or in situations where a lane change would be hazardous, or there are no available lanes the vehicles must slow down their traveling speed.

Background of the Move Over Law in California

The intent behind the Move Over Law has always been to protect emergency and public safety personnel from the dangers of carrying out their roles in vulnerable situations on the roadside. Sadly, many individuals have suffered catastrophic injuries or death on the side of roadways due to vehicles losing control and crashing into the scene while emergency personnel are in the area, often outside their vehicles. 

California’s Move Over Law has been in effect since 2007; however, there have been changes to the law to include additional categories of vehicles and expansion to cover additional areas since its passage. There have also been changes to the roads where the law is in effect. During its initial passage, the Move Over Law in California only applied to scenarios occurring on highways and freeways. In recent changes to the legislation, the Move Over Law in California now expands to apply in all situations on all types of streets.

Does the Move Over Law Prevent Accidents?

The core issue with Move Over Laws is whether the laws work to prevent accidents as intended. Due to a lack of public awareness, the laws may not have as much of an impact as needed. However, as more drivers become aware of the laws and slow down when nearing roadside scenes, accidents are less likely to occur. When motorists follow the law, there is less of a risk of injury and death to those emergency and safety personnel in the vicinity. Unfortunately, drivers who remain unaware of the Move Over Law or ignore the law continue to put those in the public at risk when an unexpected scenario occurs on the roadways.

If You Are in a Car Accident, Contact Setareh Law Today

Accidents that involve violations of the Move Over Law can involve serious damages and injuries to those involved. Although the law aims to protect workers on the side of the road, the public can also be at risk of injury when a driver fails to act appropriately. If you are in a motor vehicle accident and suffer injuries due to the negligence of another driver, you have the right to take action to seek compensation for your losses.

At Setareh Law, our car accident lawyers in Beverly Hills are experienced in representing clients who are victims of negligent drivers. We can help you determine what legal options may be available to you and who may be liable to you for your damages. Contact us at (310) 659-1826 or through our contact form for a free case consultation. We also speak Spanish.