Ask an Officer
Question: When driving on the interstate, what is the Ohio law for moving over one lane when an emergency or safety vehicle is stopped at the side of the road with lights flashing?
Answer: Kate McLaughlin, Community Policing Specialist
Ohio Codified Ordinance 4511.213 outlines the procedure for moving over one lane when a public safety, emergency, or road service vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with flashing lights operating.
If the driver of the motor vehicle is traveling on a highway that consists of at least two lanes that carry traffic in the same direction of travel as that of the driver's motor vehicle, the driver shall proceed with due caution and, if possible and with due regard to the road, weather, and traffic conditions, shall change lanes into a lane that is not adjacent to that of the stationary public safety vehicle, emergency vehicle, road service vehicle, vehicle used by the public utilities commission to conduct motor vehicle inspections in accordance with sections 4923.04 and 4923.06 of the Revised Code, or a highway maintenance vehicle.
For example, if you are driving in the far right lane of I-90 and you see a State Highway Patrol vehicle ahead parked on the right berm and the vehicle lights are flashing, you should move over one lane to the left, when possible, until you pass. Allowing one empty lane between your vehicle and the patrol car, road service, or emergency vehicle provides a safer situation for the people who may be standing or working in the berm area. In instances where you are driving in the far right lane and it is not safe or it is impossible to move over one lane to the left, you should slow down, be cautious, be prepared to stop, and be aware of people who may have to step into the road in front of you. A driver can be cited for failure to follow Ohio’s Move Over Law.
For more information on Ohio’s Move Over Law, check out the Ohio Department of Transportation website at www.dot.state.oh.us/moveover.
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I am the Community Policing Specialist at the Euclid Police Department.