The latest version of Washington state’s “Slow Down, Move Over” law takes effect July 28, 2019. The new rules require drivers to slow down to a speed that is at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit when passing stopped or slow-moving vehicles that are using sirens or flashing warning lights.
The lower speed limit applies if drivers cannot safely move over to create a buffer lane between them and the work vehicles, which include tow trucks and other roadside assistance vehicles, emergency vehicles, highway construction and maintenance vehicles, utility service vehicles and solid waste vehicles. The new speed limit will protect AAA emergency road service technicians, as well as other first responders and road construction crews. Work zone speed limits still apply.
The law passed with support from AAA Washington, as did three other laws that take effect on Jan. 1, 2020:
- Children under 2 years old must stay in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the manufacturer’s height or weight limit.
- Motorcycle permits will require a more extensive written test and a minimum number of training hours.
- Fines will increase for drivers that don’t safely share the road with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles when overtaking and passing them, while following them too closely or failing to yield to them at crosswalks, sidewalks, yield signs and when turning right. The fines will support vulnerable roadway education to increase awareness among law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and the public.