The Oregon Move Over Law that requires drivers to slow down or shift lanes for pulled over emergency vehicles is changing. Come January 1st, that law expands to any vehicle pulled over with its hazards on.
"So if there's a motorist with a flat tire that has his hazards on, you are required to do the same as if it were an emergency vehicle. You are required to move over into that next lane or you're required to slow down at least 5 miles an hour if you can't move over," said Sergeant Jeff Proulx with Oregon State Police.
Just like with the current law, if you don't you can be cited and the ticket is pretty hefty.
“You're looking at $265. That’s the base fine," said Sergeant Don Lane with the Medford Police Department.
Whether or not you should pull over or slow down, Sgt. Lane said that depends on what's going on around you.
"It doesn't mandate that you change lanes. It just mandates that you change lanes or slow down," Sgt. Lane said.
He added sometimes it may be safer for drivers to slow down instead of changing lanes. Law enforcement said this new update is about making sure anyone pulled over on the side of the road or freeway because of car issues can safely take care of it.
"It can be dangerous out there. You're exposed to all the elements. You have nothing to protect you. You see it all the time across the country where people aren't paying attention and they drift over the fog line. Well, if you're sitting there changing a tire it can be very dangerous. You can be hit or even killed by a passing motorist," Sgt. Proulx said.
"There’s a number of traffic crashes that happen across the nation and in Oregon due to vehicles not paying attention to vehicles alongside the road and occupants that are out working on those vehicles," Sgt. Lane added.
According to ODOT, between 2011 and 2015, there were 167 serious crashes. Eight people died in accidents where a car was pulled over on the side of the road without an emergency vehicle. When an emergency vehicle with flashing lights was involved, there were six crashes and no fatalities.
"This particular law I believe in the future will make it safer for people who are stranded," Sgt. Proulx said.
This update will go into effect statewide January 1st.