Virginia’s Move Over Law

Anyone driving on a Virginia highway must yield the right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching stationary emergency vehicles displaying warning lights. A violation for failing to comply with the Move Over Law is classified as Reckless Driving and punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Convicted drivers face up to a year in jail, a maximum fine of $2500.00, and up to two years of suspension of the driver’s license.

Va Law 46.2-861.1 states that when drivers are approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying flashing, blinking, or alternating emergency lights (on a Virginia roadway with at least 4 lanes —2 of which are designated for traffic proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle) drivers must proceed with caution, and, if reasonable, and with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, drivers must yield the right-of-way (“move over”). Drivers must “move over” by making a safe lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle. If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, drivers must proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

A violation for failing to comply with this law is Reckless Driving and punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor when the vehicle is a police vehicle, emergency response vehicle, or another vehicle described in §§ 46.2-1022, 46.2-1023, 46.2-1024 or subsection B of § 46.2-1026. However, the violation is a traffic infraction when the vehicle is a public utility vehicle flashing amber, purple, or green warning lights as described for vehicles in subsection A 1 or 2 of § 46.2-1025.

If property damage results as a result of failing to comply with Va. Code § 46.2-861.1, the court may suspend the driver’s license for up to one year. If an injury or death of another person results, driver’s license suspension may be ordered for up to two years.

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