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Move Over Law expansion helps Delaware's first responders

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Move Over Law expands to include any stationary vehicle on the side of the road, not just first responders.

The expansion of the original 2007 Move Over Law went into effect over the July Fourth weekend. Delaware is the 19th state to adopt the law.

Drivers need to slow down and move over for all stationary vehicles on Delaware’s roadside that are displaying hazard lights, warning signs, or flares. When moving over isn’t possible, drivers must go under the limit to a “safe speed” when passing.

AAA Mid Atlantic’s Public and Government Affairs Manager Jana Tidwell says the new law is meant to save first responder lives.

“Those first responders really take their lives into their own hands because motorists, especially on a major Interstate, are flying by at speeds that kill, quite frankly, and that’s why these Move Over Laws are so important,” Tidwell says.

Tidwell clarifies what the law means for a driver approaching any such scenario:

“If you see a first responder or stationery disabled motorist on the side of the road, slow down and move over," she says. "And that means slow your speed and move over one lane, away from those first responders. If you are unable to move over a lane, you need to drop your speed so you are slowing down.”

The Federal Highway Safety Administration adds that Move Over laws may serve to reduce the frequency and severity of secondary crashes and expedite clearing roadway incidents.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.