APD: Be aware of state’s ‘Move over’ law

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Local police are encouraging drivers to be mindful of the state’s “Move over act,” which applies in a multitude of situations involving emergency vehicles, service vehicles and vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

The Alabaster Police Department recently issued a reminder to area drivers with the specifics of the law, and issued instructions on what to do if a driver encounters an emergency vehicle or service vehicle stopped on the roadway’s shoulder.

“Did you know that this law not only exists for law enforcement vehicles, but also all other emergency service vehicles to include the Alabaster Fire Department and ambulance services?” the APD wrote on its Facebook page.

In addition to emergency and law enforcement vehicles displaying lights and sirens, the move over law also applies to wrecker service vehicles displaying flashing amber lights while performing a recovery or loading a vehicle on the roadside.

Drivers should also move over for utility service vehicles displaying flashing lights or other visual signals while the vehicles are parked on the roadside performing utility service tasks.

“It also applies when a garbage, trash, refuse or recycling collection vehicle is actively collecting garbage, trash, refuse or recycling materials on the roadside,” the APD wrote.

According to state law, motorists traveling on a roadway four or more lanes wide must vacate the lane closest to the stopped emergency vehicle, wrecker or service vehicle.

“When changing lanes is unsafe or not possible, the driver must slow to a speed that is at least 15 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit,” the state law reads. “If driving on a two-lane road, the driver must move as far away from the emergency vehicle or wrecker  as possible within his or her lane and slow to a speed that is 15 miles or less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed is 25 miles per hour or greater or travel 10 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.”