Bill would expand Iowa’s ‘Move Over’ law to include snowplows

Iowa DOT SnowplowDuring a recent period of heavy snowfall and windy conditions that followed, eight Iowa Department of Transportation snowplows were involved in motor vehicle accidents on Iowa’s highways.

A bill now offered in the Iowa Senate would make that less likely to happen in the future, if enacted. Senate Study Bill 1040, offered by IDOT, would change Iowa’s “Move Over” laws to include IDOT snowplows involved in ice treatment and/or snow removal operations, if they have blue or white lights in addition to amber lights and reflectors.

Under the bill, drivers would be required to either move into a nonadjacent lane, or slow down and be prepared to stop if changing lanes is impossible, illegal, or unsafe. Failure to do so would be considered a simple misdemeanor with a scheduled fine of $100.

The “Move Over” law was enacted July 1, 2009, and applied to law enforcement, emergency response, tow, and maintenance vehicles parked on the roadside with flashing lights. The law was strengthened in 2012 with increased penalties.

In addition to IDOT’s support, the only other lobbyist declaration is from the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, which is undecided on the legislation. No other lobbyist declarations have been made on the bill.