California’s ‘Move Over’ Law

California Injury Attorneys
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We encourage you to visit our SoCal accident lawyers in person.

If you’re an older American, you’ve probably bemoaned the things people don’t appear to know that may seem blatantly obvious to you. When an emergency vehicle or police car approaches you – from any direction – you safely decrease speed and when possible, pull over to the side, and stop your vehicle. For you, the right thing to do doesn’t have to be a law; it’s simply common sense.

Some other people need laws. Our SoCal accident lawyers have represented local residents in many types of auto accident injury claims and cases. However, some are more heartbreaking than others. Because more than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed by drivers on highways that didn’t slow or move their vehicles, the National Safety Commission created the Move Over, America campaign.

Even though forty-three states, including California, have passed Move Over laws, 71% of Americans have never heard of them.

The Details of California’s Move Over Law

It did not get much publicity and sometimes it’s a surprise the first time an officer stops a California driver for not pulling over. Still, a citation puts one point on your driving record and the fine, including court costs, is about $150.

The Move Over law states drivers are required to move over to allow an emergency vehicle with flashing lights to pass. Additionally, stationary vehicles for which you should slow down/move over include:

  • Authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights flashing
  • Department of Transportation vehicle flashing amber warning lights
  • Lastly, tow truck flashing it’s amber warning lights

If the move-over maneuver is unsafe, slow to a reasonable speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular/pedestrian traffic conditions.

Safety First

A California attorney expressed concern about the Move Over law. He wanted to know how a driver can defend his or her own judgment call. Can drivers receive a ticket because they didn’t slow down fast enough? What if a driver decided moving over was too dangerous but a traffic officer disagreed?

“The state is trying to save lives of the patrolmen and Cal Trans workers,” said Lt. Mike Cea, traffic services coordinator for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. California Highway Patrol Officer Art Athans added, “Nothing in the vehicle code and enforcement of traffic laws is a ‘Gotcha!’ scheme. We are not trying to make money on this stuff.”

What Our SoCal Accident Lawyers Can Do for You

When you choose an attorney, you should pick someone who understands what you’re going through. However, if this is your first involvement with a personal injury claim, you may feel overwhelmed. Our team at California Injury Attorneys can make this process easier. Some of the tasks we’ll handle may include:

  • Customizing your claim for your injuries and damages (no one-size-fits-all claim process)
  • Defending your rights so you can realize the best possible outcome
  • Making arrangements with rental agencies
  • Negotiating terms with insurance companies
  • Lastly, representing you in discussions with police and other entities

We encourage you to visit our SoCal accident lawyers in person at 8872 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.. But, we can answer your questions 24/7 with Live Chat.

We understand that worrying doesn’t have business hours, so call 323-999-HELP (333-999-4357) any time of the day or night. Or, contact us any time you have questions. One of our California Injury Attorneys can be your secret weapon. Don’t settle for less. Don’t wait. Call us today!


The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.