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New "Move Over" Law in Connecticut


As of October 2009, a new law is in force to protect emergency vehicles and their operators during emergencies on Connecticut's highways.



SUMMARY: This act requires a motorist approaching one or more stationary emergency vehicles located on the travel lane, breakdown lane, or shoulder of a highway with three or more travel lanes to (1) immediately slow to a reasonable speed below the posted speed limit and (2) if traveling in the lane adjacent to the location of the emergency vehicle, move over one lane, unless this would be unreasonable or unsafe.

For these requirements to apply, the emergency vehicle must have flashing lights activated. Under the act, an "emergency vehicle" includes a vehicle:

1. operated by a member of an emergency medical service organization responding to an emergency call;

2. operated by a fire department or by an officer of the department responding to a fire or other emergency;

3. operated by a sworn member of the State Police or an organized local police department;

4. that is a maintenance vehicle; or

5. that is a licensed wrecker.

A subsequent act broadened the provision as it applies to police officers to include other types of law enforcement officers such as Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) inspectors and appointed constables who perform criminal law enforcement duties (see BACKGROUND).

A violation of these requirements is an infraction, unless the violation results in the injury or death of the emergency vehicle operator, in which case the fines are a maximum of $2,500 and $10,000 respectively.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

Thanks to our friends at CNA for the heads up on this.

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