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State Patrol to enforce 'Move Over' law

Officials with the Washington State Patrol said State Troopers will begin writing tickets to drivers who don't slow down or move over when passing emergency vehicles that are parked on the side of the road.

The "Emergency Zone Law" took effect on Jan. 1, and creates a 200-foot zone around emergency vehicles — police cars, fire and emergency medical service vehicles, tow trucks and state Department of Transportation vehicles — that have their lights activated. Under the new "Move Over" law, fines are doubled for drivers who are speeding or don't move over when passing through the emergency zone.

The new law follows an original version passed in 2007, but according to the State Patrol, the problem has gotten worse since the first "Move Over" law was put in place.

Between 2006 and 2009, the Washington State Patrol reported 80 collisions involving passing vehicles striking trooper vehicles parked alongside the highway. Major factors in those accidents were drivers speeding or driving too fast for conditions, followed by DUI.

State Troopers will now begin writing tickets to drivers who don't slow down or move over when passing parked emergency vehicles on the side of the highway. The State Patrol said it will not conduct “sting” or emergency zone patrols, but will ticket drivers on a case-by-case basis or as incidents occur.

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