Q: I recently had to pull over to the side of the road to make repairs, and some cars whizzed dangerously close to me. Doesn't Virginia's “Slow Down, Move Over” law apply to them?

A: In a way, Virginia's “Slow Down, Move Over” law is a codification of simple common sense. In an ideal world, anyone who passed a stalled or stopped vehicle on the side of the highway would slow down or move into the leftward lane, traffic conditions permitting. What this law does is mandate slowing down and changing lanes whenever a Virginia government or emergency vehicle is on the side of the road—this applies to police cars, repair trucks, park attendants, and pretty much anyone who works in an official repair or emergency capacity for the state of Virginia.

Assuming you're not one of those people, and just an ordinary citizen, Virginia law doesn't afford you any special protection against careless (as opposed to negligent or malicious) motorists. What this means is that you'll probably get nowhere if you call police on your cell phone and complain that a driver veered dangerously close to your disabled vehicle. If, however, that same driver crashes into or sideswipes your car because he wasn't paying attention, then he would be in every bit as much trouble as if he violated the “Slow Down, Move Over” law.

Whatever the circumstances of your case, navigating Virginia's traffic laws can be a complicated process. That's why you should consult an attorney from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today!