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Legislator Seeks Tougher “Move Over” Penalty in Kansas


Most people have the sense to switch lanes or at least slowing down when they see an emergency vehicle, truck, or for that matter any vehicle off on the shoulder of the highway.

For those less inclined to do so a stiffer penalty may be coming from the state of Kansas. A Kansas state legislator from Haysville wants to toughen the state’s “move over” law, following a critically injury to a Kansas Highway patrol trooper this week.

Rep. Joe Edwards, R-Haysville, said the current $190 fine for failing to move over for law enforcement officers, tow truck drivers and highway construction workers is not enough of a penalty.

Edwards said he will consider legislation that resembles Missouri’s law. That law, he said, quadruples the penalty if the driver’s vehicle hits a law enforcement officer, emergency responder, tow truck operator or Missouri Department of Transportation worker. If that person is killed the driver is fined $10,000, loses their license for a year and spends a year in jail.

Edwards proposed a bill in the last legislative session that would have increased the fine for failure to move over to $400, but the bill died in the Transportation Committee.

“We didn’t have time” to get it before the full Legislature, Edwards said.

If re-elected this fall, Edwards said, this will be one of the first things he works to change when he returns to Topeka.



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