CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol for Operation Guardians of the Roadway to ramp up enforcement of Tennessee’s Move Over Law.
The law was passed in 2006 and requires drivers to move over into an adjacent lane of traffic, when safe to do so, or to slow down when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road.
In 2023, there have been 33 HELP trucks hit while responding to incidents, and five of those crashes have occurred in November, according to a TDOT news release.
On Nov. 17, officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office worked a total of 84 hours, pulled over 77 vehicles, issued 15 warnings and wrote nine citations for violation of the state’s Move Over Law.
“State law requires drivers to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles,” said Deputy Governor and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “Working together with our extraordinary law enforcement partners, we can help change driver behavior and make it safer for everyone on the road. Crash responders can’t do their jobs if their lives are being put at risk.”
The penalty for violating the Move Over Law in Tennessee is a maximum fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.