One of the most dangerous places for emergency responders and
maintenance personnel is along the side of the road. Each year
hundreds of these hard working men and women are injured or killed
by passing motorists while working along the nation’s highways.
In 2001, Wisconsin passed a law (Move Over Law) designed to protect
law enforcement officers, emergency responders, tow operators and
highway maintenance personnel who are conducting business on
It is called the Move Over Law (2001 WI Act 15, WI Statute
346.072) and the concept is simple. If a motorist sees a vehicle on
the side of the road with its emergency lights flashing (red, blue
and amber), the motorist is required to move out of the lane closest
to the vehicle if possible. If a safe lane change is not possible,
or the motorist is traveling on a two-lane roadway, they are
required to slow their vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for traffic
conditions, and drive at a reduced speed until completely past the
Motorists caught violating the Move Over Law will be assessed three
demerit points on their license and receive a $249 fine. In addition,
if a motorist fails to obey the Move Over Law and is involved in a
crash, their driver’s license will be suspended, and they may face up
to seven years in prison if someone is hurt or killed.
Over the past few years, a priority of the TIME Program has been to
increase the public’s awareness of the Move Over Law. Multiple
outreach materials have been developed including an outreach brochure,
a poster and bumper stickers.
When an incident occurs on a freeway or expressway it immediately
creates a dangerous situation. Wisconsin's incident clearance (Steer
It, Clear It) law provides safer conditions for individuals involved
in collisions and improves the ability of law enforcement and other
response agencies to quickly manage and clear incidents.
In 1998, the Wisconsin Legislature revised state law pertaining to
the clearance of traffic crashes. That law, often referred to as
“Steer It, Clear It,” instructs drivers - if there are no injuries and
the vehicles can be driven - to move their vehicles to a safe location
and then exchange information or contact the police.
The Steer It, Clear It Law (1997 WI Act 258, WI Statutes 346.67-68
Requires motorists involved in crashes - if
the vehicle is able to be driven and no one is injured in the
crash - to move the vehicle to a location where it will obstruct
traffic as little as possible.
Permits law enforcement and other response
agencies to quickly remove vehicles, crash debris and spilled
Grants immunity from civil damages to any
person who, at the direction of law enforcement, removes or stores
a disabled vehicle, crash debris or other obstruction. Civil
damages may still be incurred for failure to exercise reasonable
care in these efforts or for conduct that is willful, reckless or
The incident clearance law aids law enforcement and other response
agencies to quickly clear vehicles, crash debris, spilled materials
and other obstructions from the freeway. It also provides safer
conditions and allows the traffic flow to quickly return to normal.
A Steer It, Clear It outreach brochure was developed to increase
the public’s awareness of this law. This brochure is being offered
free of charge and can be requested from WisDOT using the
outreach materials order request
You will need the Adobe Reader (provided free of charge) to view PDF files. For more information
about getting your free copy of the Adobe Reader, visit WisDOT's Software information page.
Questions about the content of this page:
Statewide TIM Engineer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: November 6, 2012