Fatal Idaho accident a tragic reminder of state's 'move over' law
Idaho law requires drivers to use extra caution when approaching an emergency vehicle that has its flashing lights turned on.
September 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fatal Idaho accident a tragic reminder of state's 'move over' law
Article provided by Goicoechea Law Offices
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Think for a moment about the last time you encountered a tow truck, police car, ambulance or disabled vehicle on the side of the road? Did you change lanes to give the vehicle and its occupants extra space? If not, you may have violated Idaho state law. You also put the people you passed at serious risk of being injured, or even killed.
A recent fatal accident in Glenns Ferry shows just how dangerous failing to move over can be. In that crash, a 32-year-old was killed after his vehicle became disabled on Interstate 84. He was helping a tow truck driver move the vehicle when he was hit by a passing semi-truck. The man died at the scene of the accident.
If there is any upside at all to this tragic accident, it is that safety advocates are working hard to ensure that the man did not die in vain. They are using his death as an opportunity to remind all Idaho drivers about the importance of adhering to the state's "move over" law.
Law says slow down, change lanes
Tow truck operators, police officers, first responders and others who work on busy roads face a nearly constant danger. With vehicles whizzing by at highway speeds, all it takes is one small mistake to turn an ordinary day at work into a serious tragedy.
It is for this reason that Idaho's "move over" law was passed. The law requires drivers to use extra caution when approaching an emergency vehicle that has its flashing lights turned on. On single-lane highways, drivers must immediately slow down (below the speed limit, but at a safe pace considering traffic and weather conditions), and must maintain this slower speed until they have safely passed the emergency vehicle. On multi-lane highways, drivers must reduce their speed and move into a lane that is not adjacent to the emergency vehicle. Drivers in the non-adjacent lane must do their part to allow others to enter.
While the law only applies to emergency vehicles like ambulances, tow trucks and police cars, drivers would be wise to exercise this same caution whenever they come across an accident or disabled vehicle.
Drivers who fail to adhere to Idaho's "move over" law can be cited and fined. However, if an accidenthappens, this fine will likely be the least of their worries.
Idaho law allows people who are injured by negligent drivers to pursue personal injury lawsuits. Successful litigants can recover financial compensation for damages including pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. If accident victims are killed, their families can pursue claims for wrongful death.
There is simply no reason to risk someone else's life by violating this law. If you come across a vehicle on the side of the highway, do the right thing and give them enough space to be safe.
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