Over this past week – and undoubtedly beyond – the Washington State Patrol has been working to ensure motorists know they need to ‘move over’ when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road. By ‘working to ensure’ we mean that emphasis patrols are in full force and effect across the state. The intent, of course, is to bring increased awareness to the ‘Move Over Law’, RCW 46.61.212.
The original Move Over Law was passed in 2007 in an effort to protect emergency workers who were stopped on the highways conducting their business. Since 2007, the number of collisions involving emergency vehicles and workers increased instead of decreasing. It is said that numbers don’t lie, and the numbers related to the ‘move over offensive’ indicate that between 2007 – 2014 a whopping 212 patrol vehicles have been struck while troopers were conducting either basic traffic stops or providing motorist assistance.
In 2010, legislation was submitted and passed to amend the old law to include an “Emergency Zone.” The Emergency Zone Law was passed in the aftermath of growing numbers of police, emergency technicians, tow operators, and Department of Transportation workers being killed or struck during routine traffic stops, collision/accident response, impounding/ towing vehicles, and highway construction projects.
Some possible penalties for not getting over when required are: (1) Fines for exceeding the posted speed limit are doubled in Emergency Zones; (2) Failure to move over or slow down in an Emergency Zone, the fine is doubled; (3) Motorists could be charged with Reckless Endangerment if driving in a manner as to endanger any emergency worker; and (4) If convicted of Reckless Endangerment, a driver could have his driver’s license suspended.
If you or a loved has been cited, arrested or charged with an infraction or crime in Washington State it would be smart to immediately contact a Seattle criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. The Seattle criminal defense attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for a driving offense, theft, prostitution, possession and/or distribution of drugs, assault, property destruction or some other law violation, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.