New law requires drivers to give wreckers room

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email

COLBERT, Okla. ― Provisions to a nine-year-old Oklahoma driving law have just gone into effect. Rashi Vats reports from Colbert to explain what you need to know about the new rules of the road.

Drivers usually slow down when they see the flashing lights of police, fire trucks, or EMS, but as of November 1st, Oklahoma drivers are now required to slow down for other vehicles as well.

The “Move Over Law” is not new to Oklahomans. It has been in effect since 1999, but there is a new provision just implemented this month. Now when you see a tow truck or construction crews working with lights flashing, you are required to slow down or move over into the lane farthest from them.

OHP troopers say this makes the roads safer for all drivers.

"It's good. It needs to be enacted, and I’m glad to see that we've got it for the DOT workers and for the wrecker drivers because they are out there just like we are and the DOT workers are out there more than we are, and I’m happy to see it's happening,"OHP Trooper Scott King says.

Approved by the state committee and District 21 State Representative John Carey, legislators say this provision will save lives.

"Imagine if people were zooming by your workplace by your desk, and that's how close these people are to life and death, so I think not only as citizens or lawmakers but citizens we need to be cognizant of that and the job they're doing," Rep. Carey said.

It’s a provision that Durant city manager Jim Dunegan, the writer of the original “Move Over Law,” agrees with as well.

"It probably hasn't been as well known as it should have been, but I know that I’ve always slowed down when I see emergency lights on the side of the highway. I just think it's the right thing to do,” Dunegan said.

OHP troopers say they have not written any citations under the new law yet, but say they will be on the lookout for violators.

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 20, 2008 at 09:55 PM
    People in OK should have their liscenses revoked. Sooner you get out Texas the better. Why did the reporter have Sherman PD in their story?
  • by Ha-Ha Location: Denison on Nov 19, 2008 at 02:09 PM
    Well, this works out great for them! Oklahoma vehicles usually gravitate and stay in the left lane for the duration of their journey anyway!
  • by Kathy Ann Location: Durant on Nov 19, 2008 at 10:26 AM
    In this time of email, we get chain letters and junk mail everyday. It might help awareness if everyone would email everyone in their mail box and pass the word. This would be worthy of your time. It could save the life of someone you love. I drive 400 miles per week and I see bad drivers everyday. We all need to be responsible for ourselves and drive safely. It sets a good example for other drivers as well as passengers in your car. My 6 year old grand daughter pays attention to my driving and scolds me if she thinks I did something wrong. It's never too soon to start teaching our children about driving safety.
  • by jack Location: durant on Nov 19, 2008 at 07:11 AM
    Greta what about people fixing flats?
  • by whatever Location: sherman on Nov 19, 2008 at 05:50 AM
    Good luck w/ that bill! My husband works roadside service and the majority of the people never pull over. They won't even pull over for emergency vehicles. These people need to be ticketed for not giving right of way to these workers. Their jobs are dangerous enough w/o idiots flying by and barely missing them.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 18, 2008 at 07:25 PM
  • by Anonymous on Nov 18, 2008 at 06:49 PM
    a 1999 law revised to be effective nov 1st? now this is a timely piece of reporting since it comes 18 days late.
  • by Lawdawg Location: Ardmore on Nov 18, 2008 at 06:05 PM
    I have yet to see people in Southern Oklahoma obey this law. When Im on the side of the road people just keep going in the same lane and wont slow down. The people around here just dont care. I doubt this law will help anything. If we write a ticket for the violation, the DA will just reduce it like all other violations. I bet the Carter Co DA doesn't even knows what this law is? much less how to enforce it.
Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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