Move Over laws are really important for the safety of police officers, emergency responders, sanitation workers, tow truck drivers, and others who work by the roadside. Those who work next to roads, especially highways where cars speed by at 60-70 miles per hour or more, are exposed to accidents. As a solution, most states have enacted move over laws, which require drivers to either move over a lane or slow down considerably when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle. But sometimes, you may find yourself receiving a ticket for this moving violation—we all hate that. So, in this article, we are going to talk about how to beat a move over law ticket in GA.
How Does GA Move Over Law Work?
The Georgia Move Over Law (O.C.G.A § 40-6-16) started in 2003 and was updated in 2011 to cover utility service vehicles and garbage trucks, in addition to emergency vehicles. This law asks drivers to either change lanes or slow down when they come near parked emergency vehicles, towing, recovery, or road maintenance vehicles with flashing lights on the road. This rule is there to keep safe the people working on or close to the roads.
A surprising fact from a National Safety Commission poll shows that about 71% of Americans are not aware of Move Over laws. However, ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. In Georgia, drivers must move over a lane when they approach the following vehicles stopped on the side of the road:
- Police patrol vehicles
- Fire trucks
- Maintenance vehicles
- Recovery vehicles
- Tow trucks
- Transportation, service, utility, waste, and recycling vehicles
These vehicles usually have flashing lights to alert drivers that they’ve stopped. If you can’t move over a lane safely, the law requires you to slow down. Now, this is important to protect the operators or those who frequently use the roadside, particularly emergency responders.
What Happens if You Don’t Move Over in Georgia?
In Georgia, if you are pulled over for not complying with the Move Over law, you could be given a ticket and fined $250-500. If you are convicted for this traffic violation, it will also add 3 points to your driving record. If not moving over results in an accident, the fine can increase to $150, and you could receive up to three points on your license. If you are over 21 years old and you get 15 or more points in 24 months, your license will be suspended.
Besides the fine, if you don’t move over and cause an accident in GA, you may be responsible for criminal and civil charges. You may have to pay for the damage to vehicles, medical bills, pain and suffering, or restitution. Also, a violation of the move over law can give a police officer a reason to stop your car and check for other offenses.
How to Beat a Move Over Law Ticket in GA
There are several defenses you might use if you are charged for violating the Move Over law in GA. Your defense strategy could be similar to those used in other traffic cases. Potential methods to prove your innocence may include:
- Questioning the police officer’s judgment.
- Disputing the evidence presented by the officer.
- Showing that the violation was a result of a misunderstanding of the situation.
- Explaining why it was unsafe for you to comply with the law in that situation.
Now, your winning argument specifically depends on your unique situation, so there is no one-fit-all way to beat a move over law ticket in GA. This is why you need an attorney to thoroughly investigate your case and be your mouthpiece in court. They may be able to find useful evidence, such as police dashcam footage, to support your claim. Your lawyer’s goal is to get your charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense. A lawyer may also be able to get the violation points off your driving record. Another importance of winning this case is to avoid paying high court fees.
So, your aim right now is to beat a move over law ticket in GA with the best possible argument in your favor. When you accumulate a few points on your driving record, that comes with serious consequences, including losing your license and an increase in your insurance. Just make sure to seek legal assistance for handling your traffic issues.