slow down and move over

West Tow of Menifee, wants to share some thoughts with you, on what might help to make winter driving safer. While we are here to help provide support services, along with Geico and AAA, our partners in the event that you should need road services, we also like to provide the readers of our West Tow blog, safety tips, to help you save time, inconvenience and money, that road mishaps eventually can happen..

Slow Down and Move Over: What is that all about?

It might happen while you are driving to work alone, or with your family during a road trip, but chances are that you have already seen them. The flashing lights on the side of the road notifying you of an emergency vehicle or a highway construction crew.

The reality is that in these cases even a few seconds of not paying attention can make a difference. Instinctively, many tend to turn their attention to the flashing lights, without taking appropriate action. Many accidents have been reported due to drivers' inattention.

For this reason, the Slow Down and Move Over Law has been passed, approved and went into effect in California in 2007. Despite the law, the procedures to follow in such cases are still mostly forgotten. For this reason, Solow Down and Move Over Law month have been organized to raise awareness. But it is not always enough. Let's walk through what the law is and what it entails. 

What is the Slow Down and Move Over Law?

What exactly is the Slow Down and Move Over Law? Well, it is a law stating that drivers should attempt to move over to another lane which is as far away as possible to the stationary emergency vehicle, to allow smooth circulation to continue. Of course, moving to another line is not always possible, there might be traffic and other factors to take into consideration. Depending on the situation, in case the changing line is unsafe or not possible, the procedure to follow is to slow down at a reasonable speed in a safe and controlled way.

Hence the simple name of the law. You have two choices in case of a stationary authorized vehicle on your route: either you move or you slow down.

When does the law apply? 

The law is concerned with stationary emergency vehicles with amber flashing lights. They include police cars, fire trucks, and tow trucks. But it also applied to emergency crews and highway workers with lights activated on the road.

What happens in case of non-compliance? 

If a driver is found violating the law, a citation is first issued and if found guilty of the same infraction, their result will be a fine up to 300$ together with one point assessed in the driver's driving record for 3 years.

What can we do about it? 3 important tips come to mind, we would like to share some ideas:

Road conditions, are the roads wetter, cooler, foggy or maybe even icy?

Do the conditions call for additional slowing or stopping distances?

When we see flashing lights ahead, we should watch out for breakdowns in safety/emergency lanes. People can be getting out of their cars, both stranded motorists and emergency vehicle personnel?

 Vehicles are not always parked off road fully, or a tow truck has itself in harm’s way, is it safe to move over into the next lane?

Can we at a minimum slow down our speed and increase out the distance between the car in front and the car behind?


For personal safety, it is important to avoid suddenly break, as this can cause accidents on the road. Rember that most accidents are preventable, it is all a matter of being an attentive driver, take the necessary precautions and act quickly upon exceptional situations. Whatever the situation you'll be found in, to keep yourself and others safe on the road. Unfortunately, car accidents are pretty common, but they are mostly caused by inattention due to tiredness or lack of concentration. When you observe the speed limits and are respectful of other motorists while following the rules of the road, you'll make your journey safer not only for you but for the rest of the drivers as well.

Be safe! It is the most important thing when taking a car. Do not take unnecessary risks, do not drink and drive nor drive when exhausted. You'll save your life and the life of others!

And remember, something we all tend to forget, the journey is just as important as the destination.