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‘Move Over’ Law

July 10, 2018
Emmetsburg News

Anyone who has changed a tire next to 70 MPH traffic will appreciate the MOVE OVER law update that took effect July 1.

Since 2002, Iowa's MOVE OVER law has required motorists to move over or slow down for certain stationary vehicles displaying flashing lights. This included patrol cars, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, and road maintenance vehicles. Now this law will apply to motor vehicles displaying emergency flashing lights on the side of the road, such as passenger vehicles with hazard lights activated.

Here is a summary of the law, including the July 1 update:

Motorists approaching A STATIONARY VEHICLE that is displaying EMERGENCY FLASHING LIGHTS shall proceed as follows:

MOVE OVER to a lane not next to the stationary vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions.

If this lane change is impossible, prohibited, or unsafe, SLOW DOWN to a reasonable and proper speed, which is less than the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop.

In summary, when a motorist encounters stationary vehicles on the roadside that are displaying emergency flashing lights they are first required to MOVE OVER if possible. If they are unable to move over, they are required to SLOW DOWN to a speed under the posted speed limit and be ready to stop in an emergency.

A violation of this code section carries a $195 fine.

Please move over or slow down for ALL stationary vehicles displaying emergency flashing lights. It could be your loved one on the side of the road.

Trooper Vince Kurtz, Public Resource Officer

Department of Public Safety, Iowa State Patrol



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