Georgia Move Over Laws

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Under Georgia state law, failure to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights could result in a $500 fine and three points on your driving record
A leading cause of death for emergency responders is being struck by passing vehicles at an accident scene. Since the late 1990s, states have moved to pass laws protecting paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other workers who respond to accidents. 
Every state except for Washington, D.C. has a move over law, so it’s important to know the terms of the law in your state. In this article, car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry  breaks down everything you need to know about move over laws in Georgia. 

What are the move over laws in Georgia?

Georgia’s move over law requires drivers approaching stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights to change lanes if possible or slow down. Under Georgia Code, Title 40-6-16, drivers must either: 
  • Change into a lane not adjacent to the emergency vehicle if it’s safe and possible to do so, or
  • Slow down to a reasonable speed under the speed limit and be prepared to stop

What is considered an emergency vehicle in Georgia? 

The Georgia move over law applies to the following vehicles displaying flashing red, yellow, amber, white, or blue lights
  • Patrol cars
  • Ambulances
  • Fire trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Maintenance vehicles
  • Utility vehicles
  • Recovery vehicles
  • Other law enforcement vehicles

Penalties for violating Georgia’s move over laws

If you fail to pull over or slow down when approaching any of the vehicles listed above, you could be charged with a violation of the move over law. The penalties for breaking this law include: 
  • A $500 fine
  • Three points on your Georgia driving record
If you’re pulled over for this offense, or if your failure to slow down caused an injury or death, you could be subject to additional charges, including civil and criminal charges. Always change lanes or slow down if you see a stopped vehicle with flashing lights. 
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Can violating move over laws raise your insurance? 

A move over violation will add three points to your driving record in Georgia, which will lead to a jump in your insurance rate. Depending on the exact circumstances and severity of the charges against you, the increase could be significant. 
If your record is less than perfect or if you’re already in a hard-to-insure demographic, those three new points on your record could pose a real problem for your wallet. Drive carefully and observe the rules of the road to avoid unnecessary insurance expenses. 
“I saw an ad for Jerry on Instagram and decided to give it a try. I have a terrible driving record, but Nathan still helped me. Before, almost no one wanted to insure me. Now, I have a great policy and save $200/month. I’m one happy gal!” —Terri C. 

What are move over laws? 

Move over laws require drivers to create a buffer zone for emergency vehicles and responders, including law enforcement, firemen, and paramedics. These laws are intended to protect emergency responders from being struck by passing vehicles while at the scene of an accident. 
The first move over laws in the United States were passed in the early 2000s after South Carolina paramedic James D. Garcia was struck and injured by a rubbernecking driver. Garcia was found at fault for the accident, and has worked tirelessly ever since for the passage of laws to protect emergency responders. 
Garcia’s work paid off. As of 2021, every state has a move over law requiring drivers to proceed with caution when passing emergency scenes. However, violations still occur. According to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, 44 emergency responders were struck and killed by vehicles in 2019 alone. 

How to find cheap insurance after a traffic conviction

No matter what your record looks like, you can find the lowest available rate with the Jerry app. As a licensed broker, Jerry will compare rates from 50+ top insurance companies to maximize your savings and handle all the paperwork to switch you over to a new low rate. 
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