What do Colorado’s ‘move out’ laws mean to you?

It has long been the rule of the road that drivers must move for emergency vehicles. In Colorado, it is the law. It has been for almost two years. Now, violating that law will face harsher penalties than ever. The last legislative session ended with a proposal, Senate Bill 229, that makes it a class 1 misdemeanor to recklessly drive near emergency response teams, tow trucks and utility vehicles causing injury. The conviction will carry a sentence of 12 to 18 months in jail, along with a $5,000 fine.

Senate bill honors slain soldiers
Lawmakers drafted the bill, which now sits on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature, following the deaths of a pair of Colorado Highway Patrol members in separate hit-and-run accidents late last month. last year. Lawmakers even dubbed the pending law the “Move Over for Cody Act,” after one of two police officers who were killed within days of each other late last year.

Officer Cody Donahue was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on November 25, 2016 on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock, Colorado. Donahue had been responding to another accident on the side of the road at the time. Less than two weeks earlier, police officer Jaimie Jursevics was struck by a drunk driver returning home from a Denver Broncos football game as he was trying to flag him down on I-25 in Castle Rock. The offender tasted more than four times over the legal alcohol limit.

reckless driving crackdown
The legislation, which many hope the governor will sign, also increases the punishment for a negligent driving citation resulting in a fatality from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony, which would include a jail sentence of 12 to 18 months and a fine that could exceed $100,000.

As they approach emergency vehicles and tow trucks, Colorado motorists are supposed to “proceed with due care and caution and yield the right-of-way by moving into a lane with at least one moving lane apart.” The new law also includes utility vehicles. The “Move Over for Cody Law” will go into effect on September 1, 2017, just in time for all the traffic on the highway over Labor Day weekend.

Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the consequences of these types of catastrophic injuries and losses. As the summer driving season approaches, please help those who help us, move toward emergency vehicles, tow truck drivers, and possibly utility vehicles, that are parked on the side of the road.

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