Move over or fork over serious cash

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by Steve Ryan

azfamily.com

Posted on July 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 18 at 6:12 PM

PHOENIX - Dozens of new Arizona state laws are taking effect this week, and one of them could cost you some serious cash if you don't heed it.

The "Move Over" law was passed in 2005, in the wake of the deaths of eight Arizona Department of Public Safety officers.  Since then, no DPS officers have died on roadway shoulders, but far too many members of the general public have. That's why the law is being tweaked.

Deena Eppinger was involved in a crash along the I-17 on Monday.  Sitting on the shoulder was equally frightening for her. 

"The whole freeway should be moved over to at least the HOV lanes, and give all of us space.  What if another accident happened?" said Eppinger.

The new change to the "Move Over" law isn't that strict, but it's close. Starting Wednesday, it doesn't just apply to emergency vehicles anymore. Drivers will now have to get over at least one lane for any stationary vehicle on the shoulder, as long as it has lights flashing, including hazards.

"So many people are hit.  We have had citizens hit," said DPS officer, Robert Bailey. "We have had tow truck drivers hit and killed. This is real. When you're behind the wheel, you are in control.  We need people to start being aware of what they're doing behind the wheel."

The new law mandates that if you can't move over a lane, slow down to a prudent speed that allows you to maneuver safely.

"It's as beneficial as my life is worth," said Eppinger. "Because, what if I had my kids with me?  If anything happens to me or my kids, there goes everything."

If you get cited for failing to obey the "Move Over" law, you could be hit with a fine amounting to a couple of hundred dollars.  It's a moving violation, so you also get points on your license.

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