When you see flashing lights on the side of the road in Georgia, it is time to slow down and move over. Failing to do so can lead to an expensive ticket.
Does it matter what color the lights are?
Not much. The “move over” law applies to emergency vehicles using flashing yellow, amber, white, red or blue lights.
In the case of utility service vehicles using traffic cones, there does not even have to be flashing lights.
What vehicles are emergency vehicles?
Emergency vehicles are not just government vehicles. They can include law enforcement, fire, highway maintenance, towing and recovery and utility vehicles.
What are the requirements when encountering a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights?
You must approach the vehicle with due caution and, unless otherwise directed by an officer, you must make a lane change to be a lane away from the emergency vehicle.
If that would be impossible, you must reduce your speed to a reasonable and proper speed, which is less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop. It is the last part that is particularly important.
If you are “trapped” in the lane nearest the emergency vehicle, you must significantly slow down to a speed from which you could easily come to a stop before the emergency vehicle if directed. On the interstate, that means more than slowing to 65 or 70 miles per hour.
What kind of fines are we talking about?
A “move over” ticket for an emergency vehicle carries a base fine up to $500. With add-ons, it can be significantly higher.
A “move over” ticket for a towing, recovery or utility vehicle carries a base fine up to $250.
Is it a points offense?
Yes. A Georgia driver will be assessed 3 points for a “move over” violation of any kind.