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Massachusetts slow down and pull over law for emergency vehicles

I got a ticket last week for failing to pull over to the left as I passed a police car on the shoulder of the right hand side of the road. I was on a two lane road but there were some cars in the other lane so instead of pulling into that lane I just slowed down as I passed. The cop finished with his other ticket he was handing out as I passed and he waved me over. I don't get this law or the ticket. The guy said I should have pulled to the left and slowed down but he wouldn't listen to my explanation that it wasn't safe to do it. What was I supposed to do? Can I appeal and win? Thanks.

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Massachusetts General Law Chapter 89, Section 7C, everyone agrees, was a well-intended law designed to save the lives of police, firefighters, and other emergency vehicle operators.  We've all heard the stories about police and state troopers getting hit by vehicles while trying to perform their duties.  However, the law is vaguely written and proving difficult to enforce.  It requires operators of cars and other vehicles to pull into the left lane (when travelling on roads with 2-4 lanes heading in the same direction) if "practicable."  If it is not practicable to change lanes, the law require drivers to reduce speed and "proceed with caution."

In other words, you were required to do what you did. This type of ticket can be appealed like any other ticket.  At one point, RMV statistics showed that less than 50% or the drivers who were ticketed were found responsible and required to pay the $100 fine.  If I were you, I would appeal the ticket on my own or by contacting one of the many attorneys in Massachusetts who specialize in traffic law defense.  Good luck.



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