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SB 1610: Move Over, Slow Down (2006)


SB 1610 (2006) requires motorists to change lanes as they approach a stationary emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights or tow truck displaying amber warning lights on the freeway.  In the event that drivers cannot merge to an adjacent lane due to existing traffic conditions, they must slow down.  The bill also requires CHP to conduct a study on the effectiveness of its provisions in protecting emergency responders and the public. 

Final Status and Text

SB 1610 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Signed into Law

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

Background Information

Need for the Bill:

SB 1610 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.  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.

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. 37 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 1610

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

08/06/2009 - Governor Signs Move Over Slow Down Bill

12/29/2006 - "Move Over, Slow Down" Bill Aims to Save Lives on Highway

09/21/2006 - Governor Signs Lifesaving "Move Over, Slow Down" Bill

02/27/2006 - Simitian Announces "There Oughta Be A Law" Contest Winners and Pushes Vetoed "Oughta" Bill