As we’ve noted before, Virginia has a tough law that requires you to either slow down or move a lane to the left, when an emergency vehicle is parked in a breakdown lane with lights flashing.
Current reports indicate that many people are unaware of this law, or are not clear exactly what the criteria is, and how to correctly comply. And undoubtedly, most Virginians are unaware of how strict this law is enforce, and the serious penalties that can result from this criminal citation.
Failing to move over or slow down is a reckless driving offense under Virginia law (46.2-921.1). A reckless driving charge can result in up to a year in jail and a 6 months license suspension, as well as $2500 in fines and fees for this Class 1 Misdemeanor offense.
The law was passed as a way to increase the safely to police officers when they stop a vehicle in the breakdown lane. Under the statute, a driver must make a attempt to move over to a left lane on a 4 lane highway. If that is not possible for traffic or safety reasons, or if it is a 2 lane highway, the driver must slow down to a safe speed. However, it is not explicitly stated in the law how much the driver must slow down.
For this reason, police can cite you with this criminal citation even when you thought you were making your best effort to comply with the law. It is a subjective call, and that decision can be costly and affect your entire life.
Statistics cited indicate that 71% of citizens are unaware of the slow down/move over law.
If you’ve been charged with reckless under the “move over” law in Virginia, please contact our attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We’ll go over your options, and help you decide the best way to avoid the serious penalties associated with this criminal offense.