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Move Over and Slow Down for Emergency Vehicles. It’s Indiana Law.

One of the most dangerous tasks a law enforcement officer does on a daily basis is making traffic stops. Every year, officers are killed and injured after being struck by vehicles along roadways. According to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial, in the past ten years, 134 officers were killed on duty by being struck by a vehicle.

“Move Over” laws are statutes intended to protect the driving public, emergency responders, and others who work along roadways. Indiana law requires motorists to approach cautiously when an emergency vehicle is stopped with emergency lights flashing. Motorists must change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if such a shift can be done safely. If changing lanes is not possible, drivers are required to reduce speeds to at least 10mph below the posted speed limit and proceed with caution. Watch and plan ahead for vehicles such as law enforcement, fire and medical apparatuses, highway maintenance vehicles, tow trucks, and utility service vehicles.

While officers make every attempt to maximize safety by making traffic stops in the best locations possible, they are often at the mercy of where a violator decides to pull over. Officers may follow a suspected violator for some distance before activating emergency equipment in an effort to locate a safer stop location. Please keep safety in mind both when being stopped and when approaching the scene of a stopped vehicle.

IC 9-21-8-35 Vehicles displaying flashing lights; yield right-of-way; violation

Sec. 35. (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, when the person who drives the authorized emergency vehicle is giving audible signal by siren or displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, or red and blue lights, a person who drives another vehicle shall do the following unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer:
(1) Yield the right-of-way.
(2) Immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection.
(3) Stop and remain in the position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.

(b) Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, or red and blue lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to a speed at least ten (10) miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

A person who violates this subsection commits a Class A infraction.

(c) Upon approaching a stationary recovery vehicle, a stationary utility service vehicle (as defined in IC 8-1-8.3-5), a stationary solid waste hauler, or a stationary road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, when the vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing amber lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the recovery vehicle, utility service vehicle, solid waste hauler, or road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to a speed at least ten (10) miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

The Indiana Auto Accident Attorneys at Glaser & Ebbs are skilled at representing clients and their family members injured in car crashes. It often takes legal action to receive fair compensation in these cases. If the responsible party is not found, we will help you look for other coverage. Contact Glaser & Ebbs to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Source: Nixle