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Illegal Passing of an Emergency Vehicle

About Richard Lawson

Everything you Need to Know about Unlawful of Passing Emergency Vehicles in Georgia:

Passing emergency vehicles is a somewhat newer crime and one that many people are unaware of. It was established because of the growing number of fatalities of police officers, emergency technicians, and Department of Transportation workers being killed during routine traffic stops across the nation. Due to these deaths, more than thirty states have passed a Move Over law, including Georgia which calls it the Spencer Pass Law. In some states, a conviction can cost upwards of a thousand dollars, but Georgia's penalty is a fine of up to $500 plus surcharges. Courts value the safety of our officers and emergency personnel. Contact one of our attorneys today to represent you and provide your best defense.

Spencer Pass Law in Georgia

The move over law in Georgia was named after Spencer Pass who was a HERO driver who was struck and fatally killed by a passing vehicle who failed to move over. Pass was assisting a stranded vehicle when he was hit by a passing utility truck driver who was towing a trailer.

O.C.G.A. §40-6-16

(b) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

            (1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

            (2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

(c) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle, a stationary highway maintenance vehicle, or a stationary utility service vehicle that it utilizing traffic cones or displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

            (1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, highway maintenance, or utility service vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

            (2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

Penalties for a Passing Emergency Vehicle Conviction

The penalty for passing an emergency vehicle in subsection (b) which includes police officers, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. is a fine of no more than $500.00. If it was a utility vehicle as in subsection (c) such as an electric, cable, telephone, water, or waste vehicle, then the fine is no more than $250.00.

In addition to a fine, a conviction for a failure to move over will result in 3 points on your license. Accumulating points can lead to a suspended license and higher insurance costs.

Defenses for Illegal Passing of an Emergency Vehicle in Georgia

People have been successful in fighting tickets because the Georgia law leaves discretion to the officers as to what a reasonable and proper speed is if you were unable to move into the adjacent lane. Other states, such as Florida, state that drivers must slow down to at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit when passing emergency vehicles. Georgia makes no such distinction and therefore, officers are left with the power to decide when they think someone has broken the law. Your Attorney will argue that you were going a reasonable speed and there is a lack of evidence that you were not. Once this has been established, your Lawyer will seek for the charge to be dismissed or reduced.

What are Not Defenses for Illegal Passing of an Emergency Vehicle in Georgia? 

An argument that you did not see the flashing lights will not be recognized. However, if you can prove that the vehicle was not flashing their lights, then that could be a defense. Overall, drivers are expected to be aware of their surroundings and a failure to move over and failure to reduce your speed will likely result in a ticket and furthermore, a fine and points on your license. If traffic conditions made it unsafe to move over safely, if it can be shown your vehicle slowed below the posted speed limit, the Law Office of Richard Lawson and their team of attorneys may be able to use this to your defense.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with passing an emergency vehicle in Georgia, contact us today. Our office is available 24/7 to help including nights, weekends, and holidays. Call now to speak with one of our knowledgeable Attorneys.

Our Attorneys

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    Richard Lawson

    Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He ex...

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    Kimberly A. Berry

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Recommendations

  • Mr. Lawson surpassed my expectations

    Not only is his previous experience as a DUI prosecutor, educational background and experience in the courtroom a plus, but his promptness in returning my telephone calls and answering my questions helped me through the most difficult time of my life. He restored my faith that anything was possib... Read On

  • Kimberly Berry is a hard working, honest, future saving, SUPERIOR Attorney!

    Our teenager went off to College (August 2012) with a "You don't have to worry about me, I will not get into trouble, I know what I'm doing" attitude. Two MIP's within the first three months and a citation four months later, proved that attitude wrong. After we had a "come to Jesus" discussion wi... Read On

  • One of the Best!

    IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A DUI CALL MR. LAWSON!!! I am a former military service member and currently a Federal Employee with a security clearance. I was pulled over in Georgia, arrested refused the breath analyzer, and was charged with DUI. I found Mr. Lawson’s website, which had many outstanding re... Read On

 

Recent Case Results

  • This case was in Helen Municipal Court.  The client was charged with a DUI and four counts of DUI Child Endangerment.  In Georgia, for every child under the age of 14 in a vehicle it is considered a separate DUI offense.  The client would have been declared an habitual violator from one arrest an... Read On

  • Client was charged with a suspended license because he did not reinstate his privilege to drive after the expiration of his restricted license.  Per my advice, the client properly reinstated his license the day after he was charged.  Case Dismissed in Cobb County State Court.  Read On

  • Client was a resident of New York who was arrested while he was visiting Georgia for pleasure. He was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, and Speeding 37 MPH over the speed limit. We were able to get the client an unbelievable outcome in Hampton, Georgia. His DUI dismissed, his speeding ticket wa... Read On

 

Have you been charged with Unlawful Passing of an Emergency Vehicle in Georgia? 

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When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!