Arkansas motorists will have to "move over" for more than just police cars, firetrucks and ambulances beginning Friday, state highway officials said Thursday.
Act 579, passed in the most recent legislative session, will require drivers to move over into the farthest possible lane for vehicles owned by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and its contractors, highway officials said.
The law includes utility vehicles, tow trucks or authorized vehicles displaying blue, red, amber, white or green lights, the Highway Department said. If a driver cannot move over for the authorized vehicles, he must slow down and exercise caution, the department said.
"[We] started pushing to modify the existing law due to concern over the safety of our workers," department director Scott Bennett said. "We started hearing from other groups like electric utilities and tow truck operators who wanted protection as well. There was obviously a need, and we were happy to include them."
Drivers can be fined up to $500 and be sent to county jail up to 90 days if found guilty of violating the law. A court also may order up to seven days of community service and may suspend the violator's driver's license up to six months.