Monday, June 16, 2008

Move over

Local police agencies conducted a concentrated patrol Friday night to catch drunk drivers and to "educate" about a move over law. The Boise PD press release is here, and the Statesman story, page 2, top of the page, 5 columns, is here. You don't need to read both; the Statesman story pretty much matches the press release verbatim.
The "Move Over" law requires motorists who see a police or emergency vehicle parked with it's lights flashing to either change lanes if possible (if the road has two or more lanes in the same direction), or to slow down until they are past the emergency vehicles. Violators could receive a $75 ticket.
It's an important law, but I take issue a bit with this "education" effort. The local agencies set up patrols looking for DUI violators, then, while making the DUI stop, they ticket people who don't move over.

I wasn't involved in any of these, but it's got go something like this. Officer makes a DUI stop. 2nd officer stops nearby and waits for someone to not move over, then pulls that person over. Possibly a 3rd officer watches that stop as well for failure to move over.

I think the "education" was too heavy handed. The press release acknowledges that "it appears many Idaho motorists are not aware of the law." However, look at the stats about the patrol. Citations for failure to move over, 32. Warnings for failure to move over, 0. If education was the point, why no warnings? And this is wierd. Citations for hazardous moving violations, 2. Warnings for hazardous moving violations, 7. In the midst of an education effort, they warn off hazardous violations but ticket what they're trying to educate about.


Sisyphus said...

And gee. Do you suppose that had anything to do with the state convention that weekend? Inquiring minds wanna know.

alan said...

Hmmm. Pure coincidence, no doubt.

slfisher said...

It surprised me to read about this, because one of the things that struck me about Idaho, compared to California, is how good everyone was about moving over at the sound of a siren.