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Traffic Myths: No. 5 - Moving Over for Emergency Vechicles

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Published on Jun 5, 2012

"Slowing down or moving a lane away from stopped emergency vehicles is only a courtesy and not a law"

Actually, a few years ago, the State of Oregon enacted a law regarding emergency vehicles. This came after some horrific collisions where police and other first responders were killed or injured by drivers who swerved, from the right lane into the emergency lane.

ORS 811.147 Failure to Maintain Safe Distance from Emergency Vehicles requires motorists to make a lane change away from an emergency vehicle—this includes police, fire, ambulances, roadside assistance vehicles, and tow vehicles.

If the motorist can't move over one lane, due to another vehicle occupying that lane, the statute requires the motorist to reduce their speed to at least 5 miles per hour below the posted speed when passing. Many violators are unaware and continue at the posted speed (or faster) as they pass these emergency vehicles.

I've been on the side of a busy road many times, and I can tell you it's a dangerous place. Please obey this law to help keep our emergency workers safe.

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