The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 4, 2013

Are you a help or hindrance when you see a firetruck?

Move it on over


Not optional

Moving over for emergency vehicles is not only a good idea, it is the law.

The Alabama Legislature passed the “Move Over” law in 2006 at the urging of law enforcement officers who pull motorist over and emergency personnel who work wrecks. The law was later amended to include wreckers and utility service vehicles.  Lawmakers are considering adding garbage trucks.

Since 1999, more than 150 law enforcement officers nationwide have been killed and thousands injured by motorists who failed to see them, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Some of the drivers were simply not paying attention. Some were intoxicated. Some were speeding and did not have time to react, particularly at night.

Failing to move over can result in a fine of up to $25 for the first offense and more for subsequent offenses. Law enforcement officers take it seriously. It is not unheard of for an officer already involved in a traffic stop to pause and pursue a motorist who fails to move over. 

For more information about the law, go online to the Department of Public Safety's website at

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