COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado State Patrol upped its enforcement on the state’s ‘move over’ law Monday, not so much to crack down on law breakers, but to educate them that the law exists.
“It’s slow down, move over awareness day, and for a very good reason, there’s some confusion around the move over law in Colorado,” CDOT Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole said.
With that in mind, News 5 decided to ask drivers in Colorado Springs, what they think the move over law means. The answers were mixed.
“Pretty much if you’re in the left lane and you’re not going as fast as the people in that lane, you need to get over,” motorist Jared Taylor said.
“When the cops are stopped on the side of the road, pulling somebody over or construction, for safety, you move over to the next lane,” motorist Dez Bay said.
So what is the right answer?
“So if you see lights flashing up a head, that’s acue you need to slow down or move over,” Cole said.
In a nutshell, the law requires drivers to move over at least a lane if they are passing police, construction workers, EMS or any other vehicle on the side of the road. If there isn’t room to move over, drivers need to slow down as they pass.
“A lot of people don’t know how much they need to slow down,” Cole said.
News 5 again asked motorists if they knew how much to slow down, and again got mixed answers.
“I would slow down about 20 to 25,” motorist Stan Brooks said.
“At least 10 under,” Taylor said.
“I would assume about 20 miles lower than the speed limit.” Bay said.
News 5 went to one of the people who wrote the law for the definitive answer.
“Slow down at least another 20 miles an hour slower,” Senator Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) said.
He said that goes for any road with a speed limit of 45 or higher. For other roads, drivers need to slow down to 25 miles per hour if they can’t move over.
The state’s newest ‘move over’ law went into effect last month.
“Specifically what prompted this were several state patrol officers being hit and killed,” Garcia said.
And they’re not alone.
“Sadly over the years, CDOT has lost a fair number of our workers to injuries in work zones,” Cole said.
Leaders say it’s an issue of awareness.
“Every single state has a move over law, but less than 30 percent of people really understand what it means,” Cole said.
Which is why the new law requires just that--awareness.
“The new one requires the head of the State Patrol and CDOT to initiate a campaign to bring about awareness, education,” Garcia said.