Gwinnett Police remind public of move-over law after patrol car is rear-ended while stopped behind a crash on I-85

press release from Gwinnett County Police Department

(Lawrenceville, Ga., April 1, 2022) – Shortly after 5:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 22, a Gwinnett County Police officer was rear-ended by another vehicle in the H.O.V. lane on I85NB while working a single-vehicle crash. The officer sustained minor injuries from the accident and the patrol car and the driver’s vehicle had to be removed by a tow truck.

Click or tap on the link below for the officer’s dash cam recording of the collsion.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers our first responders and emergency vehicle operators face daily to keep our motorists safe. Additionally, it underscores the importance of adhering to Georgia’s Move Over Law. Georgia’s Move Over Law is also known as the Spence Pass Law O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16 (b) in honor of Spence Pass, a HERO (Highway Emergency Response Operator) driver killed while assisting a vehicle. A move-over conviction can come with significant consequences. A person convicted of violating O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16 (b) will be punished by a fine and add 3 points to your driving record. For people over 21 years of age, an accumulation of 15 points or more in a 24-month period will result in a license suspension. In addition to the fine, if an accident, injury, or death results from failing to move over, the driver could face criminal and civil liability for the damages.

The Georgia Spencer Pass Law O.C.G.A 40-6-16 requires 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:

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

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 operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle, a stationary highway maintenance vehicle, or a stationary utility service vehicle that is 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:

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

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.

Gwinnett County Police Department

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