A Friendly Reminder to SouthCoast Drivers: Move Over
In just the last three days, I have seen it happen maybe four or five times on Massachusetts highways: Drivers speeding down the right lane, quickly approaching an emergency vehicle parked on the shoulder and failing to move over.
Every time I see someone fail to move over when they very well could have, it stresses me out. Not only is moving over required by law in Massachusetts, but it's also required for very good reason, to protect both drivers and their vehicles while stopped on the side of the road.
Massachusetts' Move Over Law went into effect in 2009, requiring "drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane and slow down, if it is safe to do so." If you're caught not moving over, you could get a fine of up to $100, but the consequences could end up much more tragic than one less Benjamin in your bank account.
First responders are killed across the country every year while providing help to drivers on the side of the road. Sometimes there's a car directly next to you and it's impossible to move over in time, but the least you can do is slow down and be vigilant.
We can do our part here on the SouthCoast by moving over and slowing down. While it's not required by law to move over for non-emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road, it's certainly courteous to give people a little space, slow down, and move over (if you can), no matter who's parked on the shoulder.