Top 10 DMV Questions – Understand the Move Over Law

Move Over banner - NHTSA

Understand the “Move Over” law

Most permit practice tests, or real driver’s license tests include questions about the “Move Over” law.

Over the years, there has been more and more focus on this important law on DMV tests across United States. That is why you should learn everything there is to know about it.

Remember, it is not just a law – it is the right thing to do!

Move Over Law - NHTSA

Leading Cause of Death of Police Officers

Data shows that three law enforcement officers were struck and killed in 2014 because 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 are not the same in all states, but the general idea behind the law is the same.

Laws require motorists to adjust speed and change lanes away from public safety vehicles to help protect public safety personnel.

The General Idea

    Two or more lanes in the same direction

If there are two lanes or more lanes in the same direction, you must move over to the lane farthest away from a stopped emergency vehicle – if you can do so safely.

If you are unable move over to another lane, you must slow down speed and pass with caution.

    One lane in the same direction

You must reduce your speed below the speed limit.

Some state laws specify what your speed should be. If you don’t know the law, a rule-of-thumb is to slow down at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit.

Remember to always keep a safe distance to stopped vehicles, officers, and any emergency personnel. The closer they are to your travel lane, the slower your speed should be.

    Move over for authorized emergency vehicles

Authorized emergency vehicles usually include all tow trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars.

As soon as you see white or colored flashing lights on or beside the road, assume that it is an authorized emergency vehicle.

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

    Always use caution when vehicles are stopped beside the roadway

Even if the move laws don’t include unauthorized vehicles, it is a good idea to always slow down or move over to another lane when you see stopped vehicles by the roadside.

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! Therefore you should expect questions about this law on your permit test.

Permit practice tests on now include even more practice questions about the “Move Over” law.

Read More: New York Mover Over Law – Example

2 Comments on Top 10 DMV Questions – Understand the Move Over Law

  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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