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Tow Truck Driver’s Death Leads to New Virginia Move Over Law

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Drivers in Virginia are starting the decade with a strengthened "move over" law. And like many laws, this legislation was sparked by a tragedy on one of the state's highways.

Origination of Stronger Move Over Law

In August of 2009, Andy Starmer decided to assist a motorist who was stranded on Interstate 64 in Newport News, Virginia. Starmer pulled his tow truck to the shoulder of the roadway and turned on his flashing amber hazard lights. Unfortunately, a truck driven by William Charles Burns struck Starmer, who died just 3 days short of his 37th birthday.

The incident prompted Virginia Delegate G. Glenn Oder, whose district includes Newport News, to sponsor a bill strengthening the state's move over law. That bill was approved in January of 2010 and took effect the following July.

Law Encompasses Vehicles with Amber Flashing Lights

The improved move over law states that motorists must slow down and/or change lanes on a highway whenever an emergency vehicle displays red, blue, or amber flashing lights. The previous law only applied to vehicles such as police cars or fire trucks which had red or blue lights.

The law only dictates a lane change if it is reasonable or safe to do so under the circumstances. A violation of this law results in a traffic citation.

The Virginia State Police supports the more stringent law. From October 2007 to June 2010, there have been a dozen instances of a state trooper or their vehicle being struck during a traffic stop on the side of a roadway.

If you have been ticketed for reckless driving/speeding in Virginia, there is no time to waste! Get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, The Shocking Truth About Reckless Driving/Speeding in Virginia.

Bob Battle has gained a reputation among other attorneys for developing new and creative arguments to attempt to keep the results of your speed out of evidence for moving radar cases, stationary radar cases, VASCAR cases, and even cases where the officer "paced" the other vehicle. Contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts
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