The Abuse of the Move Over Law in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

To start, I think the "move-over law is a good idea.  Police officers risk their lives for us every day.  Enforcing our traffic laws can be dangerous.  Several police officers have been injured, and a few have been killed while doing their jobs.  NO ONE WANTS THIS TO HAPPEN.

That being said, the Georgia Move Over Law requires a driver to move over one lane when a police officer is conducting a traffic stop; or if not possible, to slow their vehicle.  The times when a person cannot move over and must slow down are the heart of the problem.

The police officer doing his job lacks the perspective to see whether a person cannot move over.  The decision, for the driver, is often made in a split second because of another car approaching on the passenger side of their vehicle.  A police officer on the side of the road cannot see what causes a person to choose to slow down versus move over.

At that point, it becomes the officer's judgment as to whether someone acting appropriately; and that decision is based on incomplete evidence.  There is no way for a police officer to know whether a person could have safely moved over.

Additionally, the law is entirely vague as to how much a person should slow down when they cannot move over.  Again, this allows the police officer to substitute his judgment for the driver who had to make a split-second decision.

Yesterday evening, I was driving on I-285 in Metro Atlanta and noticed a police officer on the side of the road.  I only had a moment to see if it was safe to move over, and frankly, the location of the officer's stop was entirely inappropriate.  Had it been rush hour, there would have been no way to move or slow down in time.

The law needs to be corrected to take away police discretion.  Police officers get so upset when someone does not move over that they rarely listen to a person trying to explain what happened and the judgment they made.  The solution would be to say that a person should move over when practical or slow to 20 miles per hour on a city street or 35 miles per hour on the highway.  With a reasonable rule in place, police officers will not longer be able to abuse the general public with move-over tickets that charge innocent drivers with a very serious traffic offense. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

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!