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SB 800: Move Over, Slow Down (2005)


SB 800 (2005) requires motorists to change lanes as they approach a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck.  In the event that drivers cannot merge to an adjacent lane due to existing traffic conditions, they must slow down.

Current law requires motorists to pull over to the side of the road when an emergency vehicle is approaching them, but does not specify actions for motorists on the highway who pass disabled vehicles attended to by emergency service personnel and tow truck drivers. 

Final Status and Text

SB 800 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Vetoed by the Governor

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information

Need for the Bill:

SB 800 is designed to protect emergency workers and tow truck drivers from passing motorists going too fast near crime or accident scenes on the side of the road.  These individuals deal with dangerous situations on busy roadways every day.  While they protect and serve the public, there are no standards in place designed specifically to safeguard emergency workers and tow truck drivers as they do their job.  Emergency responders are fearful for their lives due to the lack of slow down by highway motorists when they are attending to disabled vehicles on the side of the road.  Vehicles travel on state roadways at very high speeds yet drivers do not always obey even the most basic California speed law which states that it is unlawful to drive faster than is safe for current conditions. 

In 2003, 49 officers died in crashes across the country, 13 of whom where struck and killed by passing vehicles as they worked outside their patrol cars.  FBI statistics show that traffic crashes claim the lives of more police personnel than any other cause of death in the line of duty, including shootings. 27 other states that have successfully implemented move-over laws have shown decreases in the number of parked vehicles struck by passing drivers. Requiring motorists to give emergency workers and tow truck drivers space by moving over will correct a safety issue and protect law enforcement and other emergency workers on our highways.

News & Press Releases about SB 800

08/17/2009 - North County Times: 'There Oughtta Be A Law'

08/11/2009 - Santa Cruz Sentinel: 'Slow down' law among handful signed by governor

10/11/2005 - Governor Signs Two Out of Three "Oughta" Bills; Contest Under Way

05/11/2005 - "Move Over-Slow Down" Measure is a Lifesaver; Advances in State Senate

03/31/2005 - "There Oughta Be a Law" Contest Winners Announced - Three Will Be Heard by Senate Next Week