New "Move Over" Law

New "Move Over" Law
YAKIMA -- When you see flashing lights, you'd better slow down or move over. The "move over law," as it's known, protects emergency workers stopped on the side of the highway.

"It's helping us and fire person and aid personnel and it's helping anyone who is on the side of the road," said Trooper Trevor Hurrod.

For three years, the law has forced drivers to switch lanes when passing an emergency vehicle or face a fine. However, according to the WA State Patrol, the number of accidents involving emergency vehicles has actually increased since the law was passed.

Troopers said that drivers just don't get it and that many are simply unaware of the law.

To help convince drivers how serious this issue is, a new law with a new name is being created. The emergency zone law, not only extends the buffer drivers must create around an emergency vehicle, it doubles the fine for violating it from $124 to $248.

Troopers said they know it may take a few hundred tickets before it sinks in. The new law takes effect January 1st.

Police will offer a short grace period. They'll issue warnings for a few months, then begin ticketing driver in April.