Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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TIME - Legislation

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Move Over Law Public Outreach Campaign

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 Wisconsin’s roadways.

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 vehicle.

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.

All of these materials are being offered free of charge from WisDOT and can be obtained using the outreach materials order request.

Steer It, Clear It Law Public Outreach Campaign

A Steer It, Clear It outreach brochure was developed to increase the publicís awareness of this law.

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 and 349.13):

  • 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 materials.
  • 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 malicious.

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.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Marquis Young, marquis.young@dot.wi.gov SSI contacts
Last modified: September 6, 2013

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