A majority of states have enacted laws to mandate drivers take steps to avoid collisions with law enforcement officers engaged in roadside stops. Oklahoma has such a law, and most Oklahoma drivers know to move to another lane or slow down when approaching an officer who has someone pulled over. What some drivers may not know is who else they must move over or brake for.
The Oklahoma law changed on November 1, 2017 and now provides protection for stationary emergency vehicles (police and ambulances, for example), Department of Transportation vehicles, Turnpike Authority maintenance vehicles and licensed Class AA wreckers. Upon approaching any of those vehicles stopped on the roadway, a driver must change lanes away from the stopped vehicle or slow down to a safe speed to pass. Failure to comply with the law is a misdemeanor offense with punishment ranging from a $5.00-$500.00 fine or up to 10 days in jail. However, the avoiding tragic consequences of roadside collisions, as seen recently in the death of a wrecker driver in Rogers County, should be incentive enough to change lanes and slow down.