Many drivers still ignoring Move Over law - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Many drivers still ignoring Move Over law

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Local law enforcement is reminding motorists to "Move Over." It's a law in Tennessee and Georgia to move over for emergency vehicles. But many drivers still aren't aware of the rule that's been on the books for seven years now.

"I should've been killed. I'm gonna say by the grace of God that I lived," said Tunnel Hill Police Lt. Scott Reneau.

Five years ago, an 18-wheeler hit Reneau during a traffic stop -- when the truck driver didn't move over. Reneau broke several bones and missed work for nearly a year. He said he doesn't remember the crash. But five years later, he said it's still a problem.

"[Drivers] come flying past you in the right-hand lane if you're on a traffic stop, and don't think to move over," he said. "It's our lives that are in jeopardy."

The state made it law to Move Over in 2007. But Reneau said many drivers who get stopped say they still don't know it.

The Move Over Law states that if an emergency vehicle is pulled over, drivers must move to the next lane. If that's not possible, then the vehicle must slow down to a safe speed. But the speed isn't defined.

If drivers slow 20 miles below the interstate speed limit driving 50 mph, that's still dangerous, said Reneau.

"At 50 miles per hour, you're still gonna kill me, odds are, if you hit me," he said.

"We've had people that have been struck by the side mirrors of people passing too close," said Jennifer Flynn, TDOT spokesperson.

Tennessee has a Move Over Law, too. It applies to any emergency vehicle and utility worker, like TDOT road crews.

"These people are working on the roadways where 100,000 vehicles a day are going 70 or 80 miles per hour," Flynn said.

It's a risk thousands choose to take every day.

"I had someone ask me when I came back to work if I was still going to work the interstate," Reneau said. "I said yeah, and they were like, 'Are you crazy?'"

"This is my job," he said. "This is what I do."

A ticket fine for not "moving over" is $500.
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