The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-38 [Anticipated]

Slow Down Move Over Best Practices

  Project Data
Funds: $550,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard A. Retting
Comments: In development
Fiscal Year: 2025

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.


Slow Down Move Over (SDMO) laws, which have been enacted by all states, represent a new and potentially misunderstood measure to protect first responders and disabled motorists from dangers associated with being stopped along roadways. It is estimated that one-third of Americans are not aware of these laws. Violation of SDMO laws can result in fines and in some cases jail time. State highway safety offices (SHSOs) are looking for ways to support SDMOs.

It is not clear to all drivers what conditions warrant SDMO action. And there is a knowledge gap regarding best practices for educating, enforcing, and promoting consistent and effective responses by all drivers. To improve the effectiveness of SDMO laws, efforts are needed to better ensure the driving population is aware of, and properly understands, what is expected of them under these laws.


The objectives of this research are to 1) understand the current state of practice and legal nuances that differ among jurisdictions and 2) develop a toolkit of practical strategies for SHSOs and other stakeholders to effectively communicate the goals of implementation and requirements for drivers to realize safety improvements.

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