STATEWIDE–Indiana State Police are putting an emphasis on making sure drivers obey Indiana’s Move Over / Slow Down law this week.
This is what police are calling a “Six-State Trooper Project.” It is comprised of state police agencies from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This project runs until Saturday, July 24.
Back in 1999, Indiana became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring drivers to move to an adjacent traffic lane or reduce their speed by 10 mph below the posted speed limit if the driver is unable to change lanes safely when driving by a stationary police, fire, or ambulance emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road.
“Indiana State Police troopers (earlier this month) had two of their cars hit while they had their lights on while working on interstates. In 2019, the Illinois State Police had three troopers who were killed on accidents when they had their lights activated and people not moving into the adjacent lanes for them,” said Matt Ames, state police sergeant and public affairs officer for the Putnamville District.
Violating the law can result in a fine and your license will be suspended for up to 2 years if you cause damage to emergency equipment, injury, or death to an emergency worker.
“Whichever county you are in, that will depend on how large the fine is. In the counties where I am located, it could be a possible fine up to $150 or $180 for failure to move over when you have an opportunity to do so,” said Ames.
As you are driving, police urge you to plan well ahead by watching for these vehicles:
• Police vehicles
• Fire trucks and rescue equipment
• Highway incident-response vehicles
• Highway maintenance vehicles
• Utility service vehicles
• Vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)
If you see someone who is violating the move over/slow down law, Ames said you should call 911 or the state police post near you.
“You should provide the dispatcher with all the information they need such as a vehicle description, a license plate number, and the general direction (the vehicle is going). That way, if there is another officer in that area, we will try to get a broadcast out and apprehend that vehicle,” said Ames.
LISTEN: Full Interview with Matt Ames