A REASON TO STOP YOU: Maine’s “Move Over” Law

For a law enforcement officer to stop you, they must have a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that criminal activity is underway.  One issue that gives rise to being stopped is a little known requirement that motorists move over when they see emergency flashing lights on or adjacent to the highway.

You’re driving on the highway and see flashing lights what do you do? Well, it’s what you don’t do that could cost you.

In 2001, a law requiring motorists on Maine’s roadways to slow down and/or pull over for an emergency vehicle was implemented. Title 29-A §2054-9 the “Move Over” law requires the operator of a vehicle who is passing a stopped emergency vehicle using an emergency light, to use due regard to the safety and traffic conditions, requiring that the driver:

A. Pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency vehicle, if possible; or

B. If passing in a nonadjacent lane is impossible or unsafe, pass the emergency vehicle at a careful and prudent speed reasonable for passing the emergency vehicle safely.

Emergency vehicles include law enforcement vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances.  The law was modified in September 2007 to include wreckers, such as tow trucks and flatbeds who are at the emergency scene as authorized emergency vehicles. The law allows emergency vehicles’ to do their job safely and efficiently and failing to follow the “Move Over” law brings a minimum civil fine of $350.00.

Don’t give law enforcement a reason to stop you while traveling on the Maine Turnpike.  If you see emergency vehicles, be safe, be prudent, and be smart.  Back off and move over.  BUT if you are accused by the police in Maine of OUI, “Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs”, possession of a controlled drug or any alleged motor vehicle or criminal offense, feel free to call Attorney John Webb today at 207-283-6400 and arrange a free consultation to discuss your case or visit: www.nicholswebb.com.

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