New highway laws in effect Sept. 1

Published 3:09 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

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By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

Two new laws involving driving on highways are set to take effect Sept. 1, the day before Labor Day.

According to a release from the Alabama Department of Transportation, the two new laws are as follows:

1) —Move over. “Drivers on Alabama interstates must travel in the right lane. Drivers are no longer allowed to be in the left lane for more than 1.5 miles unless the driver is passing another vehicle. There are exceptions for road hazards, traffic congestion and moving over for emergency response vehicles.”

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, “Act 2019-520, HB290, increases the fine associated with a violation of the Alabama Move Over Act as follows: (1) $100 for a first violation; (2) $150 for a second violation; and (3) $200 for a third or subsequent violation. (until Saturday, Aug. 31, fines are $25 for first violation, $50 for second violation, $100 for third or subsequent violation.)”

2) — Buckle up. “All passengers in a vehicle must wear a seat belt. Previously, adults in the rear seat were not required to wear a seat belt. The Alabama Legislature amended the law this year to include those riding in rear seats. In Alabama, 60 percent of people dying in vehicle crashes are not wearing a seat belt.”

ALDOT says there will be no temporary lane closures on Alabama interstates between noon on Aug. 30 and midnight on Sept. 2 due to the expected amount of travel during the Labor Day weekend.

“With so many people heading to football games or to the beach or lake during the holiday weekend, it’s even more important to focus on driving safely,” said Allison Green, Drive Safe Alabama Coordinator with ALDOT. “Buckle up every seat, every trip. A seat belt is your best defense on the road.”

Anyone looking to travel during the holiday can find information on traffic and road conditions at or by downloading the ALGO Traffic app.

“ALDOT asks motorists to use ALGO Traffic responsibly,” said the organization in the release. “Drivers should never text, tweet, or use a mobile device while operating a vehicle.”

ALEA said legislators have referred to the new move over law as an “anti-road rage” law.