Bill seeks to raise awareness of the “move over” law
By Ramona du Houx

April 6, 2011

Sixteen state police cruisers since 2003 have been struck by motorists while parked along roadways. As a result some troopers were seriously injured. Throughout America troopers lose their lives doing their daily jobs pulling over people who have broken the law. Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, of Brunswick, presented a bill on Tuesday to raise awareness of a law that seeks to protect law enforcement officers when they make a traffic stop on the interstate.

Currently, the state has a “move over” law in statute, which requires motorists to get into the passing lane on a divided highway, like the interstate, to give police more room, and if they can’t do that safely, to slow down. However, many motorists don’t know this law exists.

“When troopers and other law enforcement officers have to get out of their cars on the interstate it can be very problematic,” said Cornell du Houx. “The combination of high speeds, not much room and the growing problem of driver inattention can be a dangerous mix.”

The bill would raise the fine for failing to move over for two years and create a program to educate the public about the law.

“I am supportive of any proposal that will increase awareness of this law,” said Cornell du Houx.

Cornell du Houx said that compliance with the move over law would increase once more people were aware of the law.

The committee will hold a work session on the bill in the next few weeks before sending it to the full legislature for consideration.