Move over or face harsher penalties if caught
June 29, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today signed legislation increasing penalties for motorists who fail to comply with the state’s Move Over law.

Senate Bill 872, sponsored by Sen. Michael Gibbons, enacts tougher provisions to help ensure highway workers’, emergency workers’ and all Missouri motorists’ safety. By law Missouri motorists must move over to the other lane when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle or when approached by an oncoming emergency vehicle. Senate Bill 872 upgrades failure to comply with this law to a Class A misdemeanor from a Class B misdemeanor. The legislation also creates the crime of endangerment of a highway worker. Individuals are guilty of endangering a highway worker if the speed they are traveling is greater than 15 mph, if they pass another vehicle in a work zone that results in the death or injury of a highway worker, if they fail to obey work zone traffic control signal or move equipment used to control traffic flow, or if they assault a highway worker with their vehicle or other instrument.

In addition, the law designates portions of Missouri’s highways to honor law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty.

Other legislation signed

Blunt also signed legislation today improving child safety when traveling and allowing 16 year olds to donate blood.

Senate Bill 872, sponsored by Sen. Michael Gibbons, requires children of certain ages, weights and heights to be restrained by a child passenger restraint system, booster seat or safety belt. Under the new law children younger than four years old are required to use a child passenger restraint system. Children weighing less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, will also be required to use a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.

The bill requires children who are between four and seven years old, weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and who are less than 4 ft. 9 in. to be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat. Children weighing at least 80 pounds or who are taller than 4 ft. 9 in. must be secured by a safety belt or booster seat appropriate for the child.

The governor also signed Senate Bill 1197, sponsored by Sen. Charles Wheeler, allowing individuals who are 16 years old to donate blood after obtaining written permission or authorization from their parent or guardian.

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