West Virginia Move Over Laws

Drivers who are caught violating West Virginia’s move over laws are subject to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
West Virginia law dictates that drivers slow to a reasonable speed and move over for approaching emergency vehicles. Violators can expect a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
First responders face plenty of risks while on the job, but passing vehicles can be especially demoralizing. Many states feature move over laws to protect paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. These laws urge motorists to take extra precautions when they approach the scene of an accident.
It’s essential to know your state's traffic laws. To ensure you remain safe on the road—and avoid harsh penalties—the
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West Virginia
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What are the move over laws in West Virginia?

West Virginia law requires drivers to switch to adjacent lanes when a flashing imagery vehicle approaches. If a lane change is not safe (or possible), drivers are required to slow down to no more than 15 mph on standard roads.
The law, known as
, specifically states the following:
  • Yield right of way, when traffic allows, on a four-lane highway
  • Proceed with caution, reducing speed, on a non-divided highway or road
  • Slow to 15 mph on an undivided roadway
  • Slow to 25 mph on a divided highway

What is considered an emergency vehicle in West Virginia? 

Emergency vehicles are defined as any authorized vehicle displaying flashing red, red and white, blue, red and blue, amber, or yellow warning lights
In West Virginia, authorized vehicles include the following:
  • Police cars
  • Ambulances
  • Fire trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Utility vehicles
  • Construction vehicles
  • Other law enforcement vehicles

Penalties for violating West Virginia’s move over laws

West Virginia hands out severe penalties for those who violate move over laws. Those who break the law can expect fines no greater than $1000 and up to 60 days in jail.
West Virginia will also suspend a violator’s driver’s license in certain scenarios, such as:
  • Violation results in property damage—90-day suspension
  • Violation results in injury—six-month suspension
  • Violation results in death—two-year suspension
Violations that result in serious injury or death can be accompanied by a fine between $2,000 and $5,000 and up to six months jail time in addition to the base penalties.
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Can violating move over laws raise your insurance? 

West Virginia drivers can expect their insurance rates to stay the same after receiving a move over violation. This is because move over violations do not appear on driver’s records the same way other tickets do.
Still, move over laws should not be taken lightly. If a move over ticket is paired with separate violations—such as speeding or reckless driving—drivers will see a significant increase in their monthly premiums. Safe driving will protect the lives of first responders and it will protect your wallet.
“I recently started looking for insurance. With my past ticket, I got rejected from several companies while others charged me extreme prices. My friend referred me to
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Why are there move over laws? 

Move over laws were created to give emergency vehicles and their operators ample space to assess a situation safely. Above all, these laws protect emergency responders, who are most at risk of being struck by passing vehicles.
Emergency responders often deal with dangerous situations daily, but the most precarious place to be is near roads and highways. The first move over laws were passed in the early 2000s—now they are codified in every state.
Despite the law's ubiquity, reckless drivers continue to be a large risk to emergency responders—as countless police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and tow truck operators are struck by speeding vehicles each year.

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