Most drivers are unaware the passing emergency vehicles is actually unlawful in the state of Georgia. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I'd also like to point out that it is a traffic offense that can lead to DUI investigation.
In today's post I will focus on the law behind passing emergency vehicles in Georgia and the consequences associated with the offense.
Unlawful Passing of Emergency Vehicles in Georgia
The Unlawful Passing of Emergency Vehicles in Georgia, also known as the move over law in Georgia, was established as a result of the rapidly growing number of roadway fatalities involving officers, DOT employees, and emergency technicians/drivers. Over thirty states have passed a move over law.
The law itself is laid out in O.C.G.A. §40-6-16 as:
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.
The same goes for any kind of stationary towing vehicle, recovery vehicle, highway maintenance vehicle or utility service vehicle if these vehicles are utilizing their traffic cones or flashing lights.
The penalty if convicted of passing an emergency vehicle in Georgia can include a fine up to $500.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is an offense commonly associated with DUI investigation in Georgia. Most of the time, traffic offenses are the catalyst to an arrest for DUI in Georgia.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a passing an emergency vehicle or for DUI in Georgia or both, contact our offices today.