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‘Slow Down and Move Over’ emphasis patrols are happening

Fire engine overhead forward lights. Video: Whatcom News

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) will conduct a statewide “Slow Down, Move Over” emphasis from Friday, August 23rd through Sunday, August 25th. The purpose is to help troopers, roadway workers, emergency responders and citizens stay safe and bring awareness to the “Move Over Law

According to the WSP, the law was updated this spring to stress the importance of slowing down if vehicles can’t move over a lane to get crews in emergency or work zones extra space. It requires that vehicles approaching an emergency or work zone should proceed with due caution and if safe move over, or change lanes. If changing lanes is not possible, drivers should reduce their speed to 10 miles under the posted speed limit.

Emergency or work zone vehicles include:

  • Authorized emergency vehicles using audible or visual signs
  • Tow trucks making use of visual red lights
  • Vehicles providing roadside assistance using warning lights such as WSDOT Incident Response Trucks
  • Police vehicles displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency light
  • Stationary or slow moving highway construction or maintenance vehicles, solid waste vehicle, or utility service vehicle making use or flashing or warning lights

An Emergency or Work Zone is the adjacent lanes of the roadway and includes two hundred feet before and after the emergency or work zone vehicle.

  • If there are two lanes going in the same direction, drivers are to move completely into the left lane.
  • The penalty is $214 and cannot be waived or reduced.
  • The Washington State Patrol contacted 4,764 drivers for ‘move over’ violations in 2018.
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