Here’s a breakdown of the ‘Move Over Law’ in Tennessee

Violation of the law can result in up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
MFD Chief calling for stricter penalties for drivers who ignore ‘Move Over’ law
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 9:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WVLT) - In light of recent accidents resulting in the injury and deaths of responders on the road, here is what the “Move Over Law” means for drivers across Tennessee.

Frustration is growing among the ranks in the first responder community after two Memphis paramedics were injured on Sunday after a man failed to move over for first responders at the scene of a crash.

This comes just days after a TDOT employee was hit and killed on I-55 near I-240.

These are both situations where drivers are not abiding by the law to slow down and move over for responding vehicles.

This Tennessee code, annotated 55-8-132, is commonly referred to as the “Move Over Law.”

The law is self-explanatory:

Motorists are required to move over into the adjacent lane of traffic and slow down when approaching emergency vehicles, including recovery vehicles (tow trucks), highway maintenance vehicles, solid waste vehicles, or utility service vehicles.

Memphis’ recent incidents are a perfect example of what happens when drivers don’t follow that, and it doesn’t just affect the responders.

It’s their families, too.

A fireman’s wife has become more fearful for her husband’s safety with the recent events of first responders being injured and killed on the road while responding to calls.

“We have to think about them; we have to think about their families that they’re leaving at home every day,” said Amanda Moses, wife of a Memphis firefighter. “We just, we have to be more mindful that if you hit this ambulance or if you hit this firetruck, you’re not only affecting the person and people in it, but you’re directly impacting their family. I can’t imagine how that couldn’t make you want to do better on the roads.”

And it’s not just a slap on the wrist and a “don’t do it again” if you’re convicted of the crime.

Violation of the law can result in up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, and law enforcement leaders want those penalties to be even stiffer.