The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is on the lookout for people who don’t change lanes near an accident.
Beginning October 27, the Washington State Patrol will conduct emphasis patrols statewide to help enforce the state’s “Move Over Law,” which requires vehicles to give emergency service vehicles room to work.
The Move Over Law (RCW 46.61.212) was enacted in 2011, and states that vehicles approaching an accident must slow down and move their car at least one lane away from emergency response vehicles. Emergency response vehicles are defined by the state as fire, police and medical vehicles, as well as tow trucks or unmarked vehicles providing roadside assistance with their hazard lights on.
Failing to follow this law this could result in a ticket worth twice the penalty for speeding, and driving in a reckless fashion through an emergency zone could result in a gross misdemeanor charge.
From 2007 to 2014, 212 WSP vehicles were struck while providing roadside assistance, according to the WSP. Three troopers and many citizens have been injured in these accidents. In 2014, WSP troopers stopped more than 4,000 people for violating the Move Over Law.
WSP troopers will be particularly vigilant for Move Over Law violators this week to raise awareness of the law and its consequences. The emphasis patrols will end on October 29.