Have you ever changed lanes to stray clear of a parked police car on the highway? Or perhaps seen two drivers involved in an accident move to the shoulder? These are not only acts of courtesy toward other drivers or law enforcement officers, but requirements of the law.
Virginia has two important laws with the nicknames “Move It” and “Move Over” that address both scenarios. Under Virginia’s “Move It” law, if a driver experiences an emergency, accident, or breakdown of their vehicle, they must move the vehicle from the road to “prevent obstructing the regular flow of traffic” only when the driver is “capable of safely doing so.” Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-888.
Under Virginia’s “Move Over” law, drivers who approach stationary law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing must make a lane change away from the parked vehicle, if the driver is on a highway with at least four lanes. Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-861.1. If a driver is on a highway with less than four lanes, or a lane-change would be unreasonable/unsafe, then the driver must “proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed.” § 46.2-861.1.
The consequences for failure to change lanes or proceed with due caution under the “Move Over” statute vary depending on the type of stationary law enforcement vehicle. If the law enforcement vehicle is one belonging to the National Guard, Department of Corrections, or other State agency vehicles approved by the State, then failure to change lanes classifies as reckless driving. § 46.2-861.1(B). If the stationary vehicle is state or local law enforcement, fire department, EMS, or other utilities, then failure to move over would result in a simple speeding ticket.
If you have received a ticket for violation of the “Move It” or “Move Over” laws, or any other speeding or reckless ticket, contact the attorneys at Driving Defense Law today. Our attorneys will work with you and attempt to obtain a dismissal or reduction of your charge. We serve Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Hampton, Newport News, Northampton, Accomack and beyond.
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