(WMC-TV) – Mississippi Highway Patrol officers are vowing to crackdown on drivers who do not give emergency vehicles enough room. It is a crime that could cost you hundreds of dollars.
Most drivers know what they are supposed to do when they see emergency crews on the side of the highway. Now you're going to get a pricey ticket if you do not move over.
"The primary reason for that law is officer safety," said Corp. Odis Easterling, Mississippi Highway Patrol.
The 'Move Over Law' went into effect in 2007. When drivers on multiple lane highways approach any emergency or law enforcement vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road, they are required to move over at least one lane away from the emergency vehicle.
That law also applies when drivers approach construction workers and utility crews. There is also the option of slowing down, but that is only if a driver is unable to change lanes.
"A lot of people think, well I couldn't move over. I've heard that before. The next thing to do is slow down. It should be natural instinct, slow down," said Corp. Easterling.
When the first law went into effect, Corporal Easterling said violators were often warned. Now he says there is no excuse.
Failing to move over one lane could cost you $200.
Easterling said, "That law is not designed to hurt anybody. It's more or less to try to make it a little bit safer for a person to be outside of the vehicle."
Dash cam video is even being used as evidence against violators of the law. Just because the officer may not be looking directly at you, the camera is constantly recording.
"If you pass and that officer is on the side of the road, you're still being videoed," said Easterling.
With the proof on the dash cam, Corporal Easterling said drivers need to give space or be ready to pull over instead of move over.