Have you ever had to stop your vehicle on the side of a busy highway to check on a flat tire or a trailer cover? Or maybe you’ve been pulled over by a police officer and worried about his or her safety on the shoulder of the road while hoping you can get away with just a warning!
If so, you are well aware that most drivers won’t bother to move over or even slow down as they pass you by. But as of July 1, Iowa’s newly expanded move over or slow down law – Iowa Code section 321.323A – now requires motorists to move over or slow down when approaching ANY stationary vehicle with flashing lights activated, including passenger vehicles with hazard lights. Those who disobey the law could receive a hefty fine or potentially lose their driver’s license.
This law is particularly important to Southwest Iowa REC because it helps keep our lineworkers and maintenance workers safe as they often need to perform difficult and dangerous work with electric equipment on the shoulder of road. And even though our employees set out caution signs and orange cones, wear high visibility gear and turn on their vehicles’ emergency lights, other motorists often fail to give them the room they need to do their job safely.
This law will help keep Iowa’s roads safe for everyone – drivers, emergency responders, utility workers and others. But the law doesn’t do much good if motorists don’t know about it. Please make sure to share this safety message with other drivers in your family, especially younger drivers who don’t have as much experience behind the wheel. We can each do our part to keep Iowa’s roads safe by simply moving over or slowing down (preferably both) when we see stopped vehicles on the side of the road. We encourage you to visit to sign a simple pledge in support of this law.
When you’re behind the wheel, keep your eyes on the road and make room for utility workers and others who are stopped on the shoulder. Their jobs are dangerous enough already.