Changes coming to Alabama’s “move over” law
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed an expanded bill requiring drivers to move over or slow down for any roadside vehicle with flashing or emergency lights on, according to a spokesperson for her office.
A previous law only required motorists to move over or slow down for first responders.
For the family of a tow driver who was killed in Alabama, it is a step in the right direction.
John Hubbard died in December 2016 after he was struck trying to change a tire for a disabled motorist on Interstate 20/59 in Tuscaloosa County.
“I go to the cemetery every day and I still can’t believe it,” said his mother Angie Smith.
In 2017, hundreds of tow companies came from across the country to join in a rally to remind drivers to move over.
“I want people to slow down and give people on the side of the road that is broke down, at least a chance, let them make it home to their families because John didn’t make it home to his,” said Smith.
Governor Ivey signed HB158 March 28th, according to a spokesperson. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Chris Sells, R-Greenville.
“It is a start moving forward that at least keeps the attention and awareness of it,” said Jason Hubbard, John’s brother.
Still, family members would like to see tougher fines and penalties for offenders.
“I don’t want any other family to go through what we’ve went through,” said Jared Hubbard
The family is now serving up their message in a restaurant opened in John Hubbard’s honor.
“We decided to do this and we got Hubba Bubba’s. That was his nickname,” said Smith.
Inside the Walker County diner, reminders to slow down may be the most important words you read on the menu.
“They’ll come to the register and they’ll say can you tell us what happened?” Smith said.
For this mother, it’s just another way she can share her son’s story as she hopes drivers pay more attention to the new law.
“If leave that little bit of inkling in their mind when they leave here, if they pass someone on the street or on the road when they’re broke down, and their going fast to slow down,” said Smith.
A driver was charged in connection with Hubbard’s death, but the case is still pending in Tuscaloosa County Court.