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Missouri’s Move Over law: How to avoid a ticket

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2021 | Criminal Defense

If you want to avoid a hefty ticket and points on your license that can affect your insurance rates, don’t overlook the requirements under Missouri’s “Move Over” law.

In general, the Move Over law requires drivers to exercise exceptional caution when they see an emergency vehicle, roadside transportation crews and others at the side of the road. It also requires drivers to get out of the way, whenever possible, of approaching emergency vehicles.

Failure to yield tickets generally happen in two different ways

There are two basic ways that you can end up with a ticket for failing to yield:

  • You don’t reduce your speed and you don’t move over a lane (when possible) when you spot an emergency vehicle, like a police car, or a public service vehicle, like a tow-truck, pulled over with its lights flashing.
  • You don’t move over to the far right (as much as possible) and stop when you hear or see the lights of an emergency vehicle, like an ambulance, fire truck or police vehicle, coming your way.

The goal of the Move Over law is simple: It’s designed to make the roads safer for people who often have no choice but to do their jobs at the side of a busy highway. Failing to move over is actually a Class 2 misdemeanor and, if you’re convicted, you’re subject to court costs and additional fines — and that’s before the points hit your license and drive your insurance rates even higher.

Whether it’s actually feasible and safe to move over in a given situation is often a judgment call — and you shouldn’t be penalized for failing to yield when you couldn’t. If you’ve been handed a ticket like this, it’s wise to explore your legal defenses.