The Reality of Montana’s Move Over Law
Jason Laird posted a good brief summary of Montana's Move-Over Law, that is in effect now. Montana Drivers Need To Pay Attention To This New Law (montanatalks.com) And in safety and courtesy, drivers should slow down and move over for any stationary vehicle. It is terrifying to have cars and trucks roaring by at top speed very close.
Complying with the new law can be a challenge though.
A couple weekends ago I started to pass a semi on I-90. I had just about reached the rear of the rig, in the trucker's blind spot, when suddenly the big truck signaled to change lanes, right into me. I promptly slowed to give space, and wondered what the driver saw. Sure enough in a few seconds, a second semi was pulled over into the shoulder. The trucker in motion, with an elevated view, saw what I couldn't.
Last weekend, just getting out of Billings, an old pickup in front of me suddenly signaled and started pulling into the right shoulder. Remembering the move over law, I signaled, then saw the larger pickup in my side mirror, very close. Unsure what to do, I slowed a lot, let the second truck fly past me, then I gently swerved into the farther lane.
Both instances were a little heart-stopping. An emergency or service vehicle can be just over a gentle rise or on the other side of a hillside curve. Immediately there it is.
This good safety measure really requires drivers to read the road ahead and plan maneuvers. You must be situationally aware of all the cars and trucks surrounding you.
As my father has said, "Drive with your brain, not the seat of your pants."
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