Top 10 Questions – Understand the Move Over Law

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Move Over Law - NHTSA

Understand the “Move Over” law

Any permit practice or driver’s license test include questions about the “Move Over” law. In 2015 there will be more focus on this important law. It is not just a law – it’s the right thing to do!

Leading Cause of Death of Police Officers

Preliminary data shows that three law enforcement officers were struck and killed in 2014 as a result of drivers not obeying the “Move Over” law. Data also shows that being struck by a vehicle is the 4th-leading cause of death of police officers. In 2013, 46 law enforcement officers were struck and killed in traffic-related incidents.

Not the Same Law in All States

Details of the “Move Over” law differ between states, but the general idea behind the law is the same. It requires motorists to change lanes away from public safety vehicles to help protect public safety personnel.

The General Idea

If there are two lanes or more lanes in the same direction, you must move to the lane farthest away from a stopped emergency vehicle – if you can to do so safely. If you are unable move over to another lane, you must slow down speed and pass with caution. Emergency vehicles usually include all tow trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars.

Penalties for not obeying the law can be as high as $500. In some States, a violation of the law may result in jail time as well.

Questions on Your Permit Test

Before taking your permit test or driver’s license exam, you must become familiar with the “Move Over” law in your state. All 50 States have such a law, but very few Americans (71 percent) know they exist! This is why you should expect questions about this law on your permit test.

Permit practice tests on will include more practice questions on the “Move Over” law in 2015.


  1. If there two lanes going one direction and the right lane which is a full lane that has diagonal lines and is empty space between the left lane and the shoulder where a cop car is parked, is that still considered a that you are in the left lane of the road and far enough from the patrol car?

    • Diagonal lines mean that it is not a traffic lane, but a divider. So, judging from you description the road has just one traffic lane with a divider/empty space/gore between the shoulder and the traffic lane. If the divider is just as wide as a traffic lane, I doubt that you would be violating the move over law. But consider the safety of any officer first, slow down if needed.

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