Iowa increasing penalties for failing to yield to emergency vehicles

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Drivers who violate Iowa’s “Move Over” law face new steeper fines and penalties starting July 1, 2012.

The law, enacted in 2009, requires motorists to slow down and move to the lane furthest from emergency or tow vehicles when their flashing lights are activated.  When an emergency vehicle is approaching, motorists are required to stop and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass before proceeding.

The penalty for violating the original version of the law is a $100 fine plus any surcharge and court costs.

As of July 1, if the violation results in a crash, the fines increase and drivers face suspended license.   

As of July 1, a driver who has a crash while failing to comply with the move over law faces driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days, depending on the nature of the crash. 

  • For a violation causing damage to the property of another person, but not resulting in bodily injury or death of to another person, the Iowa DOT shall suspend the violator’s driver’s license or operating privileges for 90 days.
  • For a violation causing bodily injury to another person, the Iowa DOT shall suspend the violator’s driver’s license or operating privileges for 180 days.
  • For a violation causing death, the Iowa DOT shall suspend the violator’s driver’s license or operating privileges for one year.

Fines for those violations  also increase if the result is a crash.  The additional fine is $500 for a violation causing bodily injury to another person and $1,000 for a violation causing death.  

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed the bill updating the penalties into law April 12, 2012.  The new law takes effect July 1.

For more information, go to http://www.iowadot.gov/rules/rulesoftheroad.htm



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