A Move Over law is a law which requires motorists to move over and change lanes when approaching stationary emergency vehicles. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

A Move Over law is a law which requires motorists to move over and change lanes when approaching stationary emergency vehicles. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Police remind drivers to change lanes when approaching emergency vehicles

Violators could face misdemeanour charges.

Many states throughout the country enact a so-called “Move Over Law” which requires motorists to change lanes as stationary emergency vehicles are approaching from behind, and Juneau Police Department in a news release reminded residents that Alaska is no exception to this law.

Under state statute, any driver approaching a stationary emergency vehicle is to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle if possible to do so safely within the current traffic conditions.If the required lane change would be deemed as unsafe and prohibited by law, the appropriate action is to slow to a reasonable speed while still considering traffic, roadway, and weather conditions.

Emergency vehicles are defined as fire vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks in the act of picking up a vehicle, vehicles in the act of performing maintenance or road service work, animal control vehicles being used to perform official duties, or any stationary vehicle displaying flashing emergency lights on a highway or roadway.

Anyone who violates this law will be found guilty of an infraction or a class A misdemeanor provided personal injury results from the individual’s negligence, according to police. Additionally, JPD reminded everyone to keep one another’s safety in mind when approaching stopped emergency vehicles on the roadway.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com

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