It has long been the rule of the road that drivers must move for emergency vehicles. In Colorado, it’s the law. It has been for almost two years. Now, violating that law will face harsher penalties than ever. The latest legislative session ended with a proposal, Senate Bill 229, that makes it a class 1 misdemeanor for careless driving near emergency services, tow trucks, and public service vehicles that causes injury. The conviction will carry a sentence of 12 to 18 months in jail, along with a $ 5,000 fine.

Senate Bill Honors Slain Soldiers
Lawmakers drafted the bill, which is now on the governor’s desk awaiting signature, following the deaths of a pair of Colorado Highway Patrol officers in separate hit-and-run accidents late from last year. Lawmakers even dubbed the pending law the “Move Over for Cody Act,” after one of two police officers who had been killed within days of each other at the end of last year.

A truck with a trailer struck and killed Private Cody Donahue on November 25, 2016 on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock, Colorado. Donahue had been responding to another accident on the side of the road at the time. Less than two weeks earlier, a drunk driver returning home from a Denver Broncos football game struck Agent Jaimie Jursevics while trying to call him on I-25 in Castle Rock. The offender tasted more than four times over the legal limit for alcohol.

Repression for careless driving
The legislation, which many expect the governor to sign, also increases the punishment for a careless driving citation that results in a fatality from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony, which would include a jail sentence of 12 to 18 months and a fine that could reach a maximum of $ 100,000.

As they approach emergency vehicles and tow trucks, Colorado motorists are supposed to “proceed with due care and caution and yield when passing one lane to at least one moving lane.” The new law also includes utility vehicles. The “Move Over for Cody Act” will take effect on September 1, 2017, just in time for all that traffic on the roads for Labor Day weekend.

Unfortunately, we are all very familiar with the aftermath of these types of catastrophic injuries and losses. As the summer driving season approaches, please help those who help us get past emergency vehicles, tow truck drivers, and possibly utility vehicles, which are parked on the side of the road.

By admin

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