Changes are coming to Iowa's 'Move Over' law

Motorists will need to move to another lane or slow down when passing any vehicle parked on the side of the road with its lights flashing starting July 1. (Caroline Cummings)

Motorists on Iowa's highways will need to switch lanes or slow down for any parked vehicle on the side of the road starting July 1.

The Iowa legislature and Governor Kim Reynolds signed off on the proposal, which is an expansion of the so-called "Move Over" law requiring drivers on Iowa's interstates to pull over for law enforcement, emergency and utility vehicles like tow trucks and garbage trucks.

Now drivers will have to move to an adjacent lane or slow down if they see a any passenger vehicle parked with its lights flashing on the side of the state's interstates.

Sergeant Nathan Ludwig of the Iowa State Patrol says the new expanded law passed by the legislature this year will make more drivers aware of their surroundings when driving on highways at high speeds.

“Now it just leaves no question what you need to do when you see what’s on the side of the road," he said, noting that despite "Move Over' being in place for several years, many people still don't switch lanes or lower their speeds when someone is pulled over.

"Before it was a law, it was just common courtesy," Ludwig said. “People don’t know what it’s like to stand on the side of the road and have a car go by you at 70 or 80 miles per hour."

If you don't move over, you could risk a $195 fine and that could be even more costly depending on the violation, Ludwig said.

But Ludwig says it's not about the fines; it's about keeping people safe.

“I think everybody just wants to go home at night and this is actually just inexcusable if somebody gets hit on the side of the road because you can’t slow down or move over.”

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