Iowa’s Move Over law expanding to include all vehicles with flashing lights

Stalled truckStarting July 1, drivers in Iowa are required to change lanes if possible or slow down when they approach any vehicle with flashing lights.

All 50 states have versions of this type of law commonly referred to as a “Move over” law. The laws are meant to protect workers and others who are along the side of the road from being hit by passing motorists. Iowa first put the law (Iowa Code 321.323) into effect in 2002. At that time it included only certain emergency and maintenance vehicles. Last year the law was expanded to include utility vehicles and others working alongside the roadway. The 2018 version now includes all vehicles displaying flashing or hazard lights, including private vehicles who may be stopped due to vehicle trouble or emergencies.

Hazard light buttonSteve Gent, from our Office of Traffic and Safety, said, “There are two really important things for people to understand about this law. If you have an emergency situation and have to pull over on the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights. That allows oncoming traffic to better see you. If you are traveling and see a vehicle, any vehicle, with lights flashing, you need to either move over if you can or at least slow down to safely pass. While the law only requires you to move over or slow down for vehicles with flashing lights, for the safety of everyone involved it’s a good practice to do whenever you see any vehicle along the side of the road.”

The penalty for violating the Move Over law is $100 plus surcharges and court costs. In addition, if you are cited for violating the law in a crash, you can lose your license.

This happened June 27 on I-235 in Des Moines. Lots of stuff going on with the white car, not the least of which is a failure to move over for the stopped truck on the right shoulder. Luckily no one was seriously injured. 


Hi there,

Firstly, a bunch of thanks for sharing such amazing & valuable information with us. Actually, I was doing some research about the traffic rules for FLASHING LIGHTS. And I get landed over your article & it was too informative.

Thank you


The Iowa DOT does monitor communications to this site. All procedures were followed for the implementation of changes to You can see all the procedural items for this change at

I have received no response to my questions. Does the Iowa DOT monitor communications on this site?

1) How did the State of Iowa notify citizens of the July 1, 2018 law change?

2) Why was the normal 3 month probationary period ignored for this change?

Iowa code doesn't specify the speed. Here's a link with more information on the law -

What is the speed that a driver must slow down to if they are not able to change lanes when they see flashing lights on the side of the road.

For your information, we also publish outgoing information on our Facebook and Twitter. Please follow those if you would like to stay in the loop.

The DOT needs to find more ways to release these changes. People like myself who does not read newspapers, listen to radios, or watch tv. I only seen this because a friend posted it on Facebook. Thank you

How did the State of Iowa notify citizens of the July 1, 2018 law change?

Why was the normal 3 month probationary period ignored for this change?

I received a ticket in September 2018 and did not know about the July 1, 2018 inclusion of all vehicles with flashing lights. When I asked 12 adult drivers if they knew about the change, 9 did not know about the change. Cell phones alerts are used for other events, and should be used to convey law changes.

yes they need to put in on the T.V that they have changed theis laws so all know they changed

An Excellent Common Sense Idea! And it's important for motorists who need to pull over to the siding, to remember to use their hazard flashing lights.

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