Bigger Penalties come 2011 – Make Room for those Emergency Vehicles

On January 1, 2011, Washington State’s new “Emergency Zone Law” goes into affect. This new law builds upon the “Move Over Law” (effective 2007), and authorizes the imposition of hefty penalties for drivers who: (1) speed past emergency vehicles stopped on Washington State roadways and/or (2) fail to give first-responders more room on Washington State roadways.

Under the Move Over Law, motorists traveling on a Washington roadway, with at least two lanes in their direction of travel, must move over a lane from the shoulder when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle (patrol cars, fire engines, DOT vehicles and tow trucks) with its lights activated; motorists are also required to slow down and proceed with caution when an Emergency Vehicle is in their midst. On Washington roadways with only one lane in their direction, motorists must pass to the left of an emergency vehicle if they are able to safely do so; they must also yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.

The Emergency Zone Law goes a step further than the Move Over Law by creating a 200 foot barrier (zone) around stationary emergency vehicles that have their lights activated; the barrier is in essence a 200 foot shield around emergency vehicles in all directions, front, back and to the side. Speeding fines under the Emergency Zone Law will double, and fines for failing to slow down and safely move over will increase up to $248.

The new law was inacted to reduce and/or eliminate the risk of damage/ injury caused by impaired, speeding and distracted drivers; it is clear that Washington State traffic laws are getting more punitive come January 2011. If you or a loved one is cited or charged with a traffic violation in Western Washington (whether it be for a Seattle DUI, Everett Hit and Run or a Tacoma infraction) it is imperative that a Seattle DUI attorney or a Seattle traffic lawyer be retained as soon as possible to ensure all personal, professional and financial interests are protected to the greatest extent possible. Seattle criminal lawyers Greg Schwesinger and Saad Qadri of SQ Attorneys represent those individuals cited and/or charged through all phases of their Washington State traffic case. The Seattle criminal attorneys of SQ Attorneys are experienced and proven negotiators that make a world of difference for those accused of committing traffic violations. SQ Attorneys is a team of seasoned Seattle defense lawyers that work tireless to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every client they have the honor of representing. Cited for violating Washington’s laws? Call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 or (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri