Colorado Move-Over Law - Front Range Injury Attorneys

Colorado Move-Over Law

Every state in the US has implemented its own version of a move-over law to prioritize the safety of roadside assistance workers, including police officers and first responders. The move-over laws are crucial in safeguarding these individuals as they provide aid to others. In the state of Colorado, failure to adhere to the move-over law can result in traffic tickets and fines, with more severe consequences such as jail time if an accident occurs and leads to serious injury or death.

Understanding Colorado’s Move-Over Law

Colorado’s move-over law, as outlined in Colorado Revised Statute Section 42-4-705, mandates that all drivers change lanes for stopped vehicles. In situations where it is not feasible or safe to change lanes, drivers must reduce their speed by 20 miles per hour (mph) if the speed limit is 45 mph or higher. For speed limits of 40 mph or lower, drivers must slow down to under 25 mph.

Furthermore, drivers in Colorado are required to yield the right-of-way immediately and move to the farthest right-hand lane, if available, when approached by emergency vehicles using their audible or visual emergency signals. In such cases, drivers must come to a complete stop and remain halted until the emergency vehicle has passed.

These laws aim to safeguard the lives of emergency workers, first responders, police officers, state troopers, tow truck drivers, public utility workers, and other roadside assistance personnel. Move-over laws provide a wider buffer zone between stopped vehicles and the potentially hazardous traffic on the highway. The implementation of these laws was prompted by the alarmingly high number of injuries and fatalities resulting from collisions with vehicles and workers on the side of the road.

Penalties for Violating the Move-Over Law in Colorado

Failing to comply with Colorado’s move-over law constitutes a class A traffic infraction. A driver who neglects to change lanes or reduce speed for a stopped emergency vehicle is deemed guilty of careless driving. While not a criminal offense, this moving violation can lead to fines. In Colorado, the fine for violating the move-over law ranges from $15 to $100, in addition to a surcharge. Moreover, points may be added to the driver’s license as a result of this infraction.

If a driver’s failure to change lanes or slow down leads to bodily injury, it becomes a class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado. This offense is punishable by a minimum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $500 fine, with a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail and/or fines amounting to $5,000. In cases where the accident results in death, it is considered a class 6 felony, carrying a penalty of one to two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine ranging from $100 to $100,000.

Colorado’s Move-Over Law and its Relevance in Car Accidents

Colorado’s move-over law can significantly impact car accident and truck accident lawsuits. Violating this law constitutes negligence, as it involves a driver breaching their duty of care and causing harm to others. If a driver negligently fails to comply with the move-over law, resulting in a traffic accident, they can be held civilly liable for damages under Colorado’s fault-based insurance law. This legal provision holds the at-fault individual or party responsible for the victim’s injuries and associated losses, including medical expenses and vehicle repairs.

Generally, a violation of Colorado’s move-over law provides sufficient evidence to establish a driver’s civil liability in a car or truck accident case. If you require assistance in proving your claim against a negligent or reckless driver in Colorado, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney based in Denver. An experienced attorney can assist you in gathering evidence of fault, such as an official police accident report, citations issued to the driver for violating the move-over law, and eyewitness testimonies. With the guidance of your attorney, you can negotiate for maximum financial compensation to cover your losses effectively.

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