JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri lawmaker is proposing legislation to address a problem he says he has witnessed for himself.
State Representative Jeff Porter told members of the House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety that he has witnessed a serious wreck on a Missouri interstate where first responders struggled to get to the scene because too many drivers stopped in different places.
“And it looked like you know everyone was pulling off all over the place wasn’t a consistency,” Rep. Porter said. “Emergency vehicles were weaving in and out like snakes sometimes these vehicles are so big they can’t do that in a proper fashion and get there in a timely fashion.”
The bill would require drivers on a two-lane roadway to pull over to the right. When there are more than two lanes, Porter explains what his bill would require drivers to do.
“If you have a wreck situation up ahead head and you’re in the right lane move to the right side if you’re in the left lane moved to the left side of the shoulders and open up a center aisle way for emergency vehicles,” Porter said. “f you have a wreck situation up ahead and you’re in the right lane move to the right side if you’re in the left lane moved to the left side of the shoulders and open up a center aisle way for emergency vehicles.”
If there’s a center lane, drivers could choose left or right.
Several committee members raised questions about the bill, including whether this would only confuse drivers.
Current law requires drivers to yield to the right. One lawmaker raised concerns about how the bill’s language would affect traffic stops.
Porter said he appreciated the committee members’ questions and hopes to find a way to build consensus.
“We want to have safety as the ultimate goal,” Porter said. “We want to have safety for emergency vehicle people driving motorists that it’s going passed and also the claimed vehicle up ahead that had the accident.”
Representatives from the Missouri Ambulance Association testified in favor of the proposed legislation. No one testified against the bill.