In July 2003, a Georgia state law took effect designed to protect law enforcement officers, first responders, and also motorists pulled over on the side of the road. The law, commonly known as the "Move Over Law", requires motorists approaching any law enforcement officers conducting traffic stops to make a lane change at least one lane away from the emergency vehicle when there is more than one lane available and when that change can be made safely. If they can't make a lane change, the motorist is required to slow down and pass the emergency vehicle at a speed below the posted speed limit.
According to FBI statistics, more officers are killed in traffic crashes (including officers being hit by motor vehicles while working outside their patrol cars) than are killed by gunfire each year. The "Move Over Law" also applies to other emergency responders such as EMS techicians, firefighters, tow truck operators and maintenance workers.
Officers with the Dalton Police Department are still experiencing a high number of vehicles failing to obey the "Move Over Law" while conducting traffic stops or assisting stranded motorists. The department remind motorists that under Georgia law the penalty for anyone guilty of violating the Move Over Law includes a fine of up to $500.
Below: Officer Steve Zahn from the DPD Traffic Unit reviews a citation with a motorist