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Iowa Expands Its Move Over Law

Wed August 22, 2018 - Midwest Edition #17
Iowa DOT


All 50 states have versions of this “Move Over” law.
All 50 states have versions of this “Move Over” law.

Starting July 1, drivers in Iowa are required to change lanes if possible or slow down when they approach any vehicle with flashing lights.

All 50 states have versions of this type of law commonly referred to as a “Move Over” law. The laws are meant to protect workers and others who are along the side of the road from being hit by passing motorists. Iowa first put the law (Iowa Code 321.323) into effect in 2002. At that time, it included only certain emergency and maintenance vehicles. Last year the law was expanded to include utility vehicles and others working alongside the roadway. The 2018 version now includes all vehicles displaying flashing or hazard lights, including private vehicles who may be stopped due to vehicle trouble or emergencies.

Steve Gent of Iowa's DOT Office of Traffic and Safety said, “There are two really important things for people to understand about this law. If you have an emergency situation and have to pull over on the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights. That allows oncoming traffic to better see you. If you are traveling and see a vehicle, any vehicle, with lights flashing, you need to either move over if you can or at least slow down to safely pass. While the law only requires you to move over or slow down for vehicles with flashing lights, for the safety of everyone involved it's a good practice to do whenever you see any vehicle along the side of the road.”

The penalty for violating the Move Over law is $100 plus surcharges and court costs. In addition, if drivers are cited for violating the law in a crash, they can lose their license.