The "Move Over" law was first passed in 1996 in South Carolina after a paramedic was tragically struck and killed while responding to a crash. It's now a law in all 50 States and Washington DC.
According to recent data, 47 law enforcement officers were killed in traffic-related incidents in 2017. Out of those killed in 2017, nine officers were struck and killed outside their vehicles.
These are very alarming statistics. Making traffic stops or responding to incidents on the side of the road or highway are among the most dangerous things that law enforcement officers do in the line of duty.
To help safeguard law enforcement officers, emergency responders, road maintenance workers, and others who work on the side of highways, Wisconsin's "Move Over Law" requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down in order to provide a "safety zone" for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, utility vehicle, or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with it's warning lights flashing.
Driver's approaching the emergency vehicle should:
- Make a lane change into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle or
- If unable to safely make a lane change, slow down to a reasonable speed for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.