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Georgia's Move Over Law

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16 is Georgia's Move Over Law. It may also be referred to as the "Spencer Pass Law." It was designed to protect emergency and utility workers parked on the sides of the highway. The Move Over Law requires drivers approaching a parked certain vehicles with caution. Georgia's Move Over Law is one of Georgia's many traffic laws. A violation of a Georgia traffic law may seem like a trivial matter, but you face the possibility of a fine, points on your license, and increased insurance rates. That's not even to mention the possibility of spending a whole day sitting in court. Keep reading to find out more about how this law works, who it applies to, and why you should hire a qualified Georgia Traffic Law Attorney.


What does Georgia's Move Over Law require?


With regards to a stationary emergency vehicle that is flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights, an approaching driver must:


  • Change lanes into a lane not adjacent to the stationary emergency vehicle, OR
  • If a lane change is not possible due to traffic or road conditions, slow down to a "reasonable and proper speed" which is less than the speed limit, AND prepare to stop.


Violation of this section, which applies to ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles, and other emergency vehicles, is subject to a fine of up to $500. In actuality, though, the required fine that you may be required to pay can end up being much more than $500, because many courts tack on court costs and other fees on top of fines that are required by the State of Georgia.


A driver approaching a stationary tow truck, highway maintenance vehicle, or a utility service vehicle that is using traffic cones OR flashing yellow, amber, white, or red lights must proceed with caution and:


  • Change lanes into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle, OR
  • If a lane change is not possible due to traffic or road conditions, slow down to a "reasonable and proper speed" which is less than the speed limit, AND prepare to stop.


Violation of this section is subject to a fine of up to $250. The same caveat with regards to court costs applies here as well. This section protects not only state-owned vehicles, but also employees and contractors of any entity, including private corporations engaged in the provision of utility services. Utility services include "electric, natural gas, water, waste-water, cable, telephone or telecommunication services or the repair of utility poles, pipes, wires, fibers, cables, easements, rights of way, and associated infrastructure."


But you should not despair, and you certainly should not simply plead guilty without speaking to an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney about your case.

Georgia Move Over Law FAQ

Who does the Move Over Law apply to?

The Move Over Law applies to all drivers on Georgia roads who are approaching an emergency or utility vehicle. You are required to slow down and attempt to change lanes (if doing so is safe and possible given road conditions). If you cannot change lanes, you must slow down and prepare to stop your vehicle.

How many points is a move over violation in Georgia?

A conviction (including a guilty plea) for a violation of Georgia's Move Over Law will result in 3 points on your license. While this may not seem like much, 3 points can make the difference between a valid license and a suspended license, especially for people with a less-than-perfect driving record, or for younger drivers. To read more about how points can affect your driving privileges, click here.

Does a conviction for violating the Move Over Law affect insurance?

Yes, depending on how your case is resolved, a violation of the Move Over Law can affect your insurance rates.

Can I fight a Move Over violation?

Absolutely! There are time when it just isn't safe to change lanes or slam on your breaks in order to comply with the Move Over Law. This can be a defense to a citation, and can be used to successfully fight a case in court. If you think you were incorrectly cited for a Move Over Violation, you should talk to a Georgia Traffic Court Attorney before going to court.

Why hire a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney for a Move Over Violation ticket?

If you have been charged with violating Georgia's Move Over Law, you should call an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. I understand that being charged with a crime - even a traffic offense - in Georgia can be overwhelming because the stakes can be so high. That is why I make every effort to save your license and make the process as painless as possible. Call me today.



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Writer

Kevin Fisher


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UPDATE


Georgia COVID-19 Shutdown

Some Georgia criminal court proceedings have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 / Coronavirus shutdown, but Kevin Fisher Legal is maintaining normal operating hours.

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