Wyoming Move Over Laws

Drivers in Wyoming must move over or slow down when passing certain roadside vehicles. Failure to move over could cost $235 in fines.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Under Wyoming state law, drivers must move over when the highway allows or slow down when passing roadside emergency or utility vehicles. Failure to do so is punishable as a misdemeanor with $235 in fines.
Every state has the same intention when it comes to move over laws, but
drivers are held to a high standard. The state’s laws are strict on details like when it’s acceptable to slow down instead of move over or whether or not the roadside vehicle has to be stopped.
Failing to follow the state’s move over laws could cost you. That’s why
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What are the move over laws in Wyoming?

Wyoming’s move over laws require drivers to either change into a far lane or reduce speed when passing emergency and utility vehicles, depending on the location. Wyoming Statutes Title 31-5-224 specifies the following actions and circumstances when passing:
  • Move to the farthest lane or at least one lane away when passing on a highway with two or more lanes moving in the same direction as the vehicle
  • Slow down to a speed 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when passing on a two-lane road with a speed limit at or above 45 mph
Unlike other states, slowing down is not an alternative option on multiple-lane highways when changing lanes is difficult. All drivers are expected to comply with the course of action designated by the type and size of the road they are driving on.
The laws allow drivers to follow a different course of action, however, if law enforcement gives drivers other directions at the scene.

What is considered an emergency vehicle in Wyoming? 

The move over laws apply when passing the following vehicles:
  • Authorized emergency vehicles—such as police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and tow trucks—parked on the side of the road and using red, white, blue, or amber flashing lights
  • Authorized municipal, public utility, and highway construction or maintenance vehicles parked or moving less than 20 mph on or near the road and using flashing, noticeable lights

Penalties for violating Wyoming’s move over laws

Drivers who fail to follow the correct course of action when passing a designated vehicle in the state of Wyoming are subject to a $235 fine. 
The standard charge for failure to follow the state’s move over laws is a moving violation. Most moving violations are considered a misdemeanor. Wyoming doesn't use points to track your driving infractions, but four moving violations in one year could
lead to you losing your license
MORE: How to get car insurance with a bad driving record
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Can violating move over laws raise your insurance?

Violations and infractions on your driving record will raise your insurance rates when it comes time to renew. Most insurance companies use a point system, regardless of whether or not the state does. Moving violations can rack up points, which will drive up your car insurance rates.
If your insurance is already hard to afford, a moving violation or other infraction on your driving record could break the bank. Be prepared for anything by finding the cheapest insurance available for you and your situation with Jerry.

Why are there move over laws?

Wyoming passed its move over laws in 2001 as part of an early nationwide effort to promote the safety of emergency responders on the roads. In 2018, Wyoming added maintenance, construction, and utility vehicles to the laws to increase the scope of
safe driving
Move over laws began hitting state legislation in South Carolina in the late ‘90s when James D. Garcia, a paramedic, was injured by a passing vehicle at the scene of an accident. Garcia was found at fault for the accident, and he realized the necessity for legal protections for himself and his colleagues.
As of 2012, the movement for move over laws—led by Garcia—succeeded in passing legislation in all 50 states. Still, from 2016 to 2018 alone, 12 patrol cars and 18 snow plows were hit in Wyoming due to distracted or neglectful driving.
Whether it’s the law or not, moving over when you’re passing a roadside vehicle can help make the road a safer place.

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