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 negligent driving near emergency responders, tow trucks and utility vehicles that cause injury a class 1 misdemeanor. The conviction will carry a sentence of 12 to 18 months in jail, along with a fine of $ 5,000.

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 members in separate hit-and-run accidents late in the year. last year. Lawmakers even dubbed the pending bill the “Move Over for Cody Act,” in honor of one of the two police officers who were killed within days of each other late last year.

Agent Cody Donahue was struck and killed by a trailer truck on November 25, 2016 on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock, Colorado. Donahue had been responding to another roadside accident at the time. Less than two weeks earlier, a drunk driver returning home from a Denver Broncos football game ran over police officer Jaimie Jursevics while trying to signal 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 negligent 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 $ 100,000.

As emergency vehicles and tow trucks approach, Colorado motorists are supposed to “proceed with due care and caution and yield the right-of-way by moving into a lane with at least one moving lane apart.” The new law also includes utility vehicles. The “Move Over for Cody Act” will go into effect on September 1, 2017, just in time for all highway traffic on Labor Day weekend.

Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the consequences of these types of catastrophic injuries and losses. As the summer driving season approaches, help our helpers move to emergency vehicles, tow truck drivers, and possibly utility vehicles, which are parked on the side of the road.

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