Move over law could have prevented deadly I-40 crash

THP wants to remind drivers about the move over law after two TDOT contractors were killed this morning.

By all indications, the driver of the big rig involved failed to obey the state's move over law.

It's a law that can be punishable by jail time when it's broken and in the worst cases, like today, breaking that law costs lives.

According to troopers, the violent crash appears to be the result of a failure to move over.

The law is actually very specific and very clear.

It requires:

"Motorists to move over into an adjacent lane of traffic, when safe to do so, or alternatively to slow down when approaching emergency vehicles, including recovery vehicles (tow trucks), highway maintenance vehicles, solid waste vehicles, or utility service vehicles. Essentially, the law applies to any responder vehicle with audible (sirens) or visual (flashing lights) signals drivers may see on Tennessee roadways."

It's not a new law.

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It was enacted in 2006 because so many troopers, highway patrol officers, emergency crews and construction workers were being hurt or killed on the job.

If you are caught failing to move over, you can spend a month in jail and be fined up to $500.

The last major accident in Tennessee was in 2016 when three TDOT workers were hit and killed by a driver who failed to slow down and move over, hitting a TDOT truck in a work zone.

But in the last five years, according to TDOT, there have been more than 14,000 accidents in Tennessee work zones

83 people have been killed.

Those numbers do not reflect the two contract workers killed in this morning's crash.

TDOT continually works to raise awareness of the move over law.

For more information, go to and read more about their "work with us" initiative.