Now Is The Perfect Time to Revisit Colorado’s ‘Move Over Law’
Are you up to speed with the particulars when it comes to Colorado's "Move Over Law"? If not, then perhaps it's time for a refresher. The photo above offers a good reason why.
The Colorado Department of Transportation shared that photo on Saturday, February 3, 2023. Colorado law requires you to move over a lane if you see emergency or maintenance vehicles stopped ahead. This is what happens when people do not observe the law.
Colorado's 'Move Over Law'
The Colorado Department of Transportation official webpage states, "Traffic-related incidents are the leading cause of death for on-duty law enforcement officers, fire, EMS, maintenance workers, and tow/recovery professionals." The site adds many of these incidents could have been avoided if motorists would have followed Colorado's Move Over Law.
"When you see a responder or a vehicle on the side of the road, move over. We are out there trying to make your commute safer, so give us space to work.” - Chief Matthew C. Packard of the Colorado State Patrol
According to codot.gov, Colorado State law requires drivers approaching stationary emergency and maintenance vehicles that are displaying flashing lights, including tow trucks, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the closest lane. If it is not safe to do so, motorists must slow down to a reasonable speed safe for existing weather, road, and traffic conditions.
How Do They Define 'Reasonable Safe Speed'?
The Colorado General Assembly website offers the following information regarding appropriate speeds when approaching stationary emergency and maintenance vehicles on Colorado roads:
Preexisting law requires a driver who is overtaking an emergency vehicle, tow vehicle, or public utility vehicle that is parked on the side of the road to reduce and maintain a safe speed. The act makes it a presumption that the following speeds are safe unless the conditions require a lower speed:
- 25 miles per hour if the speed limit is less than 45 miles per hour; or
- At least 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit if the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or more.
How Many People Are Aware Of This?
A report from KRDO includes information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicating only 30% of people are familiar with this law, despite similar laws in all 50 states.
The post from KRDO adds, "Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is reminding drivers the phrase "slow down, move over" applies to tow and maintenance vehicles too."