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Serious Incidents Spark Calls For Change

Will a tragic incident on Interstate 80 lead to a stricter move-over law in effect along the Grapevine?

Peace officers around the country are concerned over a spike in the number of officers who are injured or killed while they are on traffic patrol; according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, eleven officers were struck by vehicles while they were outside their patrol cars in 2015.

But upon closer inspection, the state’s move-over law did not even apply. For example, in the wreck outside Donner Summit, an SUV spun out of control on an ice patch before it fatally struck the officer, who was on the scene of another fatal wreck.

Move-Over Law

VC 28109 is one of the more obscure laws in the Vehicle Code. It requires motorists to either change lanes or, if that is not feasible, slow down when they encounter emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are operating in emergency mode (lights flashing and/or sirens on). The $35 fine balloons to a little more than $700 when considering the fine, penalty assessments, and increased auto insurance rates.

Like many other move-over laws in other states, VC 28109 is very well intentioned and also very subjective. Tulare County Motorists much approach the scene with “due caution” and change lanes as long as such a maneuver is “practicable and not prohibited by law.” The statute does not define any of these phrases.

Typically, prosecutors do not like subjective laws, because they are so unpredictable. Therefore, they are often willing to reduce the penalty assessments or alter the charges to a non-point infraction, which generally has a lesser effect on auto insurance rates.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.