Move Over or Slow Down

NOT JUST A COURTESY, IT’S THE LAW MOVE OVER OR SLOW DOWN TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE!

Rules of the Road

Move Over or Slow Down

By following these two simple rules, you can help save lives, avoid receiving a traffic ticket and prevent the potential loss of your driver’s license. Iowa law requires motorists to:

  1. Change lanes or slow down, absent any other direction from a peace officer, when approaching the following vehicles, as provided in (Iowa Code section 321.323A):
    • A stationary emergency vehicle that has its flashing lights activated.
    • A stationary tow, recovery, maintenance, construction, solid waste or recycling collection vehicle that has its flashing lights activated.
    • Any stationary motor vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, that is continually displaying its emergency signal lamps (i.e., standard hazard lights).
  2. Yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights or giving an audible signal by moving over to the right, stopping and waiting until the vehicle has passed before proceeding. (Iowa Code section 321.324).

These laws are designed to protect motorists, including motorists stranded by the side of the road, persons being transported in emergency vehicles, and personnel at high risk while performing their duties on Iowa’s roadways. A good rule of the road is to change lanes or slow down anytime you are approaching a vehicle that is slow moving, stopped or stranded on the shoulder, if you can safely do so.

Iowa's road workers, construction workers, Highway Helpers, law enforcement personnel, emergency personnel, maintenance workers, solid waste and recycling collection workers, and tow truck operators urge drivers to provide them the room they need to safely perform their jobs.


Penalties for violating the law

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Motorists are warned to move over or slow down or pay the price.

The scheduled fine for a conviction of violating Iowa Code 321.323A or 321.324 is $100 plus any surcharge and court costs.

Upon receiving a record of a person’s conviction for a violation of the move over law that resulted in a crash causing damage to the property of another person or bodily injury to or death of another person, the Iowa Department of Transportation shall suspend the person’s driver’s license/operating privileges, upon 30 days’ notice and without preliminary hearing, as follows.

  • For a violation causing damage to the property of another person, but not resulting in bodily injury or death of to another person, the Iowa DOT shall suspend the violator’s driver’s license or operating privileges for 90 days.
  • For a violation causing bodily injury to another person, the Iowa DOT shall suspend the violator’s driver’s license or operating privileges for 180 days.
  • For a violation causing death, the Iowa DOT shall suspend the violator’s driver’s license or operating privileges for one year.

A person convicted of a violation that resulted in a crash causing bodily injury to or the death of another person may be subject to an additional fine, beyond the scheduled fine for a violation of the move over law and any other penalties allowed by law. The additional fine is $500 for a violation causing bodily injury to another person and $1,000 for a violation causing death.


Road signs

Move Over or Slow Down sign

Signs that describe the state law are posted statewide on all the major interstate routes and state entries.

Iowa’s highway safety, emergency, maintenance, and utility personnel appreciate your cooperation and compliance with Iowa law to ensure the safety of the public and those whose job it is to maintain the roadways and provide assistance to you.