January 21, 2008
Albany -- New legislation could stiffen the penalty for drivers who put patrol officers in danger by not moving over.
Senator Joseph Carter of Tifton introduced a bill that would strengthen Georgia's "Move Over Law."
Right now, there is a $500 maximum fine if you don't move over when emergency vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway.
The bill would make it a felony if someone dies as a result of a driver not moving over.
Albany Police think harsher penalties will encourage drivers to obey the law.
"Anytime I'm on a traffic stop, especially on the bypass, they're will be numerous violators that will come by and won't move over. They won't slow down, and it actually rocks the car sometimes. I've actually had my hat blown off. But, the last thing we want to do is be out there working a wreck and have another wreck happen because you're trying to get out of the way," said Cpl. Paul Guhl, APD Traffic Officer.
The "Move Over Law" applies to any emergency vehicle, even wreckers and DOT trucks.
If you can't safely change lanes, you're supposed to slow down and be prepared to stop.