OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5094

AN ACT CONCERNING THE "MOVE OVER" LAW.

SUMMARY:

This bill applies the “move over” law to two lane highways. The current law applies to highways with three or more lanes.

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

For these requirements to apply, the emergency vehicle must have flashing lights activated. For purposes of the “move over” law, an “emergency vehicle” includes a maintenance vehicle or wrecker or a vehicle operated by:

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

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

3. a police officer.

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.

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Maintenance Vehicle

A “maintenance vehicle” is defined by law as a vehicle the state or a municipality, a state bridge or parkway authority, or any public service company uses to maintain public highways or bridges and facilities located within the limits of such highways or bridges (CGS 14-1(46)).

Wrecker

A “wrecker” is defined by law as a vehicle (1) registered, designed, equipped, and used by a Department of Motor Vehicles - licensed motor vehicle dealer or repairer for the purpose of towing or transporting wrecked or disabled motor vehicles for compensation or for related purposes or (2) contracted for the consensual towing or transporting of one or more motor vehicles to or from a place of sale, purchase, salvage, or repair (CGS 14-1(102)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

21

Nay

0

(03/01/2012)