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Police offer visual reminder of importance of 'move over' laws

Huntsville Police say a driver collided with an officer's SUV as the officer tended to a disabled vehicle.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Police this week offered a visual reminder of why it's so important to be mindful of disabled vehicles and first-responder vehicles on roadsides and shoulders. They posted pictures Wednesday of an incident that left an officer's sport utility vehicle heavily damaged.

The incident happened Tuesday night near the intersection of Research Park Blvd. and Oakwood Rd., while the officer was tending to a disabled vehicle.

According to the police department's Facebook post, a driver failed to acknowledge the officer's emergency lights and ran into the SUV.

Police said the officer was inside the vehicle at the time, but was not seriously injured. There was no word on the status of the driver of the vehicle or that of the disabled vehicle's driver.

An update to the existing Alabama Move Over Act went into effect in September 2019 and increased fines associated with not properly yielding to emergency vehicles. They include police, paramedics, wreckers, utility service vehicles, and trash/recycling collection vehicles.

Drivers are instructed to move as far away from the vehicle as possible within their lane if on an interstate highway or highway two lanes or more, unless otherwise directed by law enforcement. If it is not safe to move over, drivers should slow to a speed at least 15 miles per hour less than the posted limit if that limit is 25 mph or more; the speed should be reduced by 10 mph if the posted limit is 20 mph or less.

On two-lane roads, drivers are expected to move as far as possible within their lane and slow their speed at least 15 miles less than the posted speed limit if the posted speed is 25 miles per hour or more, or 10 miles per hour if the posted speed is 20 or less.

Fines are $100 for a first violation, $150 for a second, and $200 for subsequent violations.

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