DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law on Friday that will expand Colorado’s “move over” law.
The new measure means drivers will have to slow down and move over when approaching or passing a stopped vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard signals on.
A similar law that was already on the books requires drivers to move over for emergency, law enforcement and Colorado Department of Transportation vehicles. But numbers were still high on crashes, so an effort to combat that has been in the works for some time.
“Whatever makes people safer, we are going to be 100% behind,” Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said. “It’s been a long time coming. With something like this, it just takes time to change things over.”
The new law is expected to bring heightened safety for drivers.
“Having it to where somebody is broken down or stopped on the side of the road, and have other vehicles be required to slow down and move over for them, is a game-changer,” Cutler said.
Both the existing and new laws say that if a driver is unable to move, they must slow down to at least 25 miles per hour.
“It’s not only just a safety issue. Now it’s the law,” Cutler said.
More than 1,100 crashes involved existing crashes
The bill comes after law enforcement has been pleading with drivers to move away from roadside vehicles.
According to CDOT data from 2021, there were 1,153 crashes reported as a result of drivers hitting already existing traffic crashes. Cutler said this new law should bring those numbers down.
“I do believe that if we continue to make these improvements on the roadways with these laws in place, and even additional ones that we may have later on that are going to help people from getting hurt on those roadways, it’s going to be great,” Cutler said.
If drivers fail to slow down or move over, that’s a traffic offense that could result in a ticket with a heavy fine. But State Patrol said it will first try to educate the public before handing out tickets.
The law is set to take effect in August.