Utah Department of Public Safety


Highway Safety - Slow Down & Move Over




Slow Down & Move Over for Emergency Vehicles


You see them pulled over on the side of the road: a police car with its lights flashing, maybe a tow truck, too. You look over -- you're naturally curious about what's happened. But, it turns out, that's one of the worst things you can do.


In the first two months of 2013, 16 Utah Highway Patrol troopers' vehicles were hit when they were pulled over to the side of the road. How can you avoid adding to that number?


When you approach a stationary emergency or service vehicle



  • Do this BEFORE you get close to them.
  • On wet or snowy roads, don't brake suddenly - that can cause you to slide or skid into the stopped cars.



  • If it is clear & safe to do so, move to the next lane to give the emergency vehicles room.
  • Be alert - when you first see the emergency vehciles, plan to adjust your speed so you can move over a lane.
  • If you can't move over, don't panic -- just slow down a lot.




  • You tend to drive toward what you're looking at, so focus on the road ahead, not at what's going on with the emergency vehicles.
  • Avoid target fixation - look away from the distraction and at the path you want to follow.


It's not just a safe thing to do -- it's the law (41-6a-904). When you approach any stationary emergency vehicle, which includes police vehicles, tow trucks or highway maintenance vehicles, you are required to

  • Provide as much space as practical and safe for the emergency vehicle.
  • If you're in the lane next to the emergency vehicle and it is practical and safe to do so, move over a lane.



Move Over & Move Off



The side of the freeway is a dangerous place to be -- even in good weather. If you're involved in a minor collision -- both cars are driveable and there are no serious injuries, call 911 and move to the next exit. That's right, get off the freeway entirely. You can advise the dispatcher where you will be, and the Utah Highway Patrol will send an officer to fill out a crash report. This will help keep you and UHP troopers safe from any secondary crashes.


If your vehicle is not driveable, call 911 and the safest place to be is inside your vehicle with your seat belt fastened.



For more information

Utah DPS Public Information Officer Contact






[Last Update - Monday, 22-Apr-2013 11:27:26 MDT]