Enhancing Roadside Safety: Maine’s ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ Law Expansion

Roadside car accidents are often compounded by the potentially high risks to roadside workers and stranded motorists due to their proximity to fast-moving traffic. In many instances, passing drivers are inattentive, distracted, or lack experience when approaching an accident scene. They fail to slow down until it is too late, only to cause another car accident. 

The Maine car accident lawyers at Hardy Wolf & Downing support the state’s new ‘slow down, move over’ law that now protects all roadside workers, personnel, and stranded motorists. The new legislation addresses the high risks that distracted, inexperienced, or inattentive drivers pose to authorized emergency personnel, roadside workers, tow truck drivers, and motorists alike when traveling at high speeds past a car accident. 

Though Maine already has an existing ‘slow down, move over’ law that requires drivers to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles, tow trucks, some roadside workers, and first responders, the new law has been expanded to include all roadside workers, tow truck drivers, and stranded motorists. Move Over laws exist in all 50 states. Though it may seem common sense to slow down and move over into a far lane when approaching a car accident, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports 71 percent of drivers in the country are unaware of Move Over laws. 

The new Move Over law is important for enhancing roadway safety in Maine. To ensure the law’s success, efforts are underway to raise awareness through technology and education.

New Technologies Enhance Roadway Safety

Move Over law compliance is being greatly improved with new technologies that inform drivers of nearby emergency vehicles. At the forefront of technologies is the HAAS alert service Safety Cloud®, an interactive, collision-prevention digital platform that connects first responders, towing and recovery fleets, and roadway workers with vehicles and motorists. The technology provides real-time alerts to drivers that prevent collisions and improve road safety for everyone. 

The service helps enhance communication and awareness on the road, reducing the risk of accidents and improving emergency response times. For example, as emergency responders activate their vehicles’ emergency lights, drivers in approaching vehicles will receive real-time digital alerts up to 30 seconds in advance. Delivery systems activate automatically, sending alerts through vehicle infotainment systems, navigation systems, or user mobile apps. 

The HAAS alert service in Maine is already used at the University of Maine Volunteer Ambulance Corps (UVAC) and the North Yarmouth Fire-Rescue Department. HAAS Alert services are available to any licensed EMS ambulance in the state. The high-speed connectivity, hardware, and software cost is funded via a U.S. Department of Transportation grant program. EMS’s grant funding Master Service Agreement with the State of Maine is also accessible to local governments to outfit fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles, snowplows, and other emergency vehicles with the technology. 

Safe Driving Awareness for Young Drivers

The annual Arrive Alive Creative Contest educates young drivers on safe practices like ‘slow down, move over’ to prevent roadside accidents. The contest, open to graduating high school seniors throughout Maine, is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving and the consequences of distracted or inattentive driving. Sponsored by our colleagues at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, any Maine senior can enter the contest by submitting a creative project encouraging their peers about safe driving awareness and the importance of safe driving practices.

Maine’s new ‘slow down, move over’ law is an important legislation that expanded legal protection to all roadside workers and stranded motorists. If you have been in a roadside car accident resulting from your proximity to fast-moving traffic, contact an expert car accident lawyer at Hardy, Wolf & Downing. We offer free consultation for victims of car accidents and are dedicated to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve–compensation that will make a difference in your life.  For more information about how we can help, contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing today

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