Ask anyone, and they will tell you that driving on the freeway is not quite the same as driving on surface streets. On freeways, cars drive a lot faster and there is very little stop and go unless of course there is a bit of traffic. Freeways are fast-moving environments, and they are not the kinds of places where you want to have car trouble. Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want.
Sometimes, cars break down on the freeway and leave their driver stranded alongside a very busy road. Even if these cars are off to the side on the shoulder, it can still be nerve-wracking to be that close to speeding vehicles. It can also be very dangerous, which is why they have to wait for emergency help. Thousands of accidents are caused every year because drivers hit a car parked on the side of the road.
Due to this fact, many states have enacted laws with the goal of ensuring the safety of stranded motorists and emergency personnel alike. The state of California is no different. Here, it is required by law that all motorists vacate the lane immediately next to the shoulder if an emergency vehicle is stationary their displaying flashing lights, so long as it is safe to do so. If that cannot be done, then the driver needs to slow down while passing the vehicle.
What some people do not realize, is that this does not simply mean police, fire, and EMT vehicles. This law also includes tow truck drivers and Caltrans vehicles that are displaying flashing orange lights. Failing to move over can earn a person a pricey ticket.