BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Alabama House Rep. Chris Sells recently sponsored House Bill 158 which made substantial changes to the Alabama MoveOver Act. The bill passed the Alabama House of Representatives 99-0 on Thursday, Feb. 8 and on Thursday, March 22, the bill passed the Alabama Senate 26- 0. The bill was sent to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature. There has been no indication from the Gov. Ivey if she will sign the bill. The law originally was specific to emergency, state or utility vehicles with flashing lights but now also requires drivers to move into the far lane or slow down to 15 miles per hour under the posted speed limits when approaching a car with flashing lights on the side of the road or be subject to a ticket. “We have seen how big of a problem this is in the state,” said Rep. Sells. “There have been more than 800 roadside collisions since 2011 in Alabama. Everyone is put in danger when cars fail to slow down or move over. We have cars flying by people changing a tire on the side of the highway or interstate, and it’s dangerous. “This bill makes drivers endangering those lives subject to a citation. Maybe more importantly, this can serve as an educational service to our citizens. This bill highlights how dangerous and problematic failure to comply with the Move Over Act is. I am happy my bill passed both houses unanimously so we can continue to confront this issue on our roadways.” The amended bill would require drivers to reduce their speed by 15 miles an hour if they can’t move over right away, especially on a two-lane road. The fine on the first offense is $25, $50 on the second offense and $100 for violating the statue for the third time. Rep. Sells, a republican from Greenville and who represents House District 90, indicated he felt Gov. Ivey would sign the bill in the next two weeks.