Kentucky Move Over Laws

Under Kentucky’s move over law, drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles can face fines, up to 30 days imprisonment, or both.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Under Kentucky’s move over law, drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles can face fines ranging from $60 to $500, up to 30 days imprisonment, or both a fine and a jail term.
For emergency responders, being hit by passing vehicles is a major job hazard, not to mention a leading cause of death. Since the 1990s, states across the country have been enacting laws to protect police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency personnel from passing vehicles while responding to roadside emergencies.
Today, every state except Washington, D.C. has a move over law on its books. That’s why
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What are the move over laws in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, drivers are required by law to move over when approaching stopped emergency vehicles on the roadway or if they are being approached by emergency vehicles. Under Kentucky’s law, drivers must do the following:
  • Vacate the closest lane to the stationary emergency vehicle, so long as it is safe and possible to do so, or
  • Slow down to a reasonably safe speed for the road, traffic, and weather conditions if vacating the closest lane is not possible
  • Get no closer than 500 feet of a parked vehicle unless directed by police
  • Never drive over an unprotected fire department hose, unless directed to do so by the fire department
If an emergency vehicle is approaching your car from any direction, Kentucky’s law requires you to do the following:
  • Position your vehicle as close to the right edge of the curb as possible
  • Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes
  • Stay clear of any intersection until the emergency vehicle has passed

What is considered an emergency vehicle in Kentucky? 

Kentucky’s move over law applies to emergency vehicles with flashing blue and red, red and white, red, or yellow lights, such as:
  • Police vehicles
  • Fire trucks
  • Ambulances and EMS vehicles
  • Tow trucks 
  • Utility vehicles

Penalties for violating Kentucky’s move over laws

Failing to slow down or yield to emergency vehicles in Kentucky can result in you being charged with a violation under the state’s move over law:
  • A fine between $60 and $500
  • 30 days imprisonment
  • Both a fine and jail time
Always slow down or change lanes if approaching a stopped emergency vehicle. If an emergency vehicle is approaching your vehicle, slow down and yield the right of way.

Can violating move over laws raise your insurance?

Violating Kentucky’s move over law can cost you money and even prison time, but it can hurt you in another area as well—your insurance premium.
A conviction under the move over law is likely to cause your
car insurance rates to increase
. If your record was less-than-spotless before getting a move over violation, it will be that much harder to land a reasonably priced policy if you need to find a new insurer. As a rule of thumb, always follow the rules of the road in your state.
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Why are there move over laws? 

Move over laws were put onto state books to protect first responders as they dealt with accidents on the roadway. Over the past two decades, a significant push has been made to ensure emergency personnel are protected from passing vehicles while doing their jobs. 
As of 2021, every state has passed a move over law. Unfortunately, first responders are still injured by passing motorists on the road.

How to find cheap insurance after a traffic conviction

Even if you commit a traffic violation, this doesn’t mean you’ll need to pay higher
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