Beginning July 1, motorists in Iowa who are ticketed and convicted of a violation of Iowa's "move over" law will face increased penalties.
House File 2228, signed into law by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad April 12, 2012, takes effect Sunday, July 1. It includes a provision requiring mandatory suspension of a person's driver's license/operating privileges if convicted of a violation of the move over law that results in property damage, injury or death.
Iowa's move over law, originally enacted in 2009, prescribes the rules of the road when it comes to driving on an Iowa roadway where there is a stationary, authorized emergency, tow or maintenance vehicle displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or red and blue lights.
By following these two simple rules, you can help save lives, avoid receiving a traffic ticket and prevent the potential loss of your driver's license. Iowa law requires motorists to:
- Change lanes or slow down when approaching a stationary emergency, tow or maintenance vehicle that has its flashing lights activated. (Iowa Code 321.323A)
- Yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights or giving an audible signal by moving over to the right, stopping and waiting until the vehicle has passed before proceeding. (Iowa Code 321.324)
The scheduled fine for a conviction for violating Iowa Code 321.323A or 321.324 is $100, plus any surcharge and court costs.
Upon receiving a record of a person's conviction for a violation of the move over law that resulted in a crash causing damage to the property of another person or bodily injury to or death of another person, the Iowa Department of Transportation shall suspend the person's driver's license/operating privileges, upon 30 days' notice and without preliminary hearing, as follows.
- 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.
A person convicted of a violation that resulted in a crash causing bodily injury to or the death of another person may be subject to an additional fine, beyond the scheduled fine for a violation of the move over law and any other penalties allowed by law. The additional fine is $500 for a violation causing bodily injury to another person and $1,000 for a violation causing death.
These laws are designed to protect motorists, persons being transported in emergency vehicles and personnel at high risk while performing their duties on Iowa's roadways. A good rule of the road is to change lanes or slow down anytime you are approaching a vehicle that is slow moving, stopped or stranded on the shoulder, if you can safely do so.
Iowa's road workers, Highway Helpers, law enforcement personnel, emergency personnel, and tow truck operators urge drivers to provide them the room they need to safely perform their jobs.
For more information, log on to: http://www.iowadot.gov/rules/rulesoftheroad.htm