More Crashes: Despite Alabama’s Move Over Law

Jun 17, 2022 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers


Is Alabama’s move over law a flop? The statistics are not looking good. When the law was enacted in 2009, our state had 9 work zone deaths. In 2020, there were 19.

Basically, the move over law requires you to change lanes or slow down when you see a vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. This rule includes police, ambulances, and even tow trucks. The reason, of course, is to make it safer for workers. It just doesn’t seem to be effective.

But it is the law. If caught, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $25. Perhaps the tiny amount is part of the reason for the failure.

So, do you move over or at least slow down if you see flashing lights?

If you do, the National Highway Safety Administration says you are in the minority. What? Yes, this government agency reports about three-fourths of drivers say they didn’t know it was a law — despite similar laws in EVERY STATE IN THE UNION.

Here is another problem. An Alabama fire chief reports that their study showed about half of all drivers WHO KNEW about the law — thought it was unnecessary. This thinking might explain why in 2021, nearly 5000 firefighters suffered injuries in road accidents across the nation.

I see injured people every day and know of a trooper who was hit, a severely injured firefighter, and a road worker who was run over. All of these accidents were preventable.

Perhaps you should obey this law. At least you know about it now. Move over as an act of respect for the first responders—law enforcement officers and firefighters- who are rendering aid to those in need.

If you suffer a personal injury, like an auto/railroad wreck or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We do like answering your questions. We also have lawyers standing by at our offices on Monday mornings.

Allen Ritchie

Mobile Personal Injury Attorney