The month of June is “Move Over Awareness Month” in Virginia and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Loudoun County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services are reminding motorists of the move over and move it laws.

the Move-Over/Slow Down Law. Section § 46.2-921.1 of the Code of Virginia requires drivers to move-over one lane, if possible, whenever an emergency vehicle on the side of the road displays emergency lights. And, if traffic is too congested to move-over safely, the law requires drivers to simply slow down, below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop.

Virginia implemented the Move Over/Slow Down law in 2002 (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-921.1). In Virginia, the law is a Class 1 misdemeanor. By not following the law, you face possible jail time, and a $2500 fine.

Unfortunately, many motorists are unfamiliar with the law and are unaware that each time an officer makes a traffic stop, it’s one of the gravest dangers fire, EMS and law enforcement can face on the road today. More than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers and first responders have been killed since 1999 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways.

When you see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its emergency lights on, slow down, change lanes and save lives.