Missouri lawmaker proposes ‘safe lane’ for emergency vehicles

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri State Rep. Jeff Porter (R-Montgomery City) is sponsoring legislation he hopes will create a safe path for emergency vehicles when they respond to accidents on Missouri’s roadways.

House Bill 1635 would require drivers on a roadway with more than two lanes to yield to the left if they’re in a left lane and to yield to the right if they are in the right lane. The idea is that the middle of the roadway would be clear for emergency responders.

“We want to have safety as the ultimate goal,” Porter said.

The state representative testified before the House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety Monday. He described a serious accident scene he witnessed on I-70 in Missouri. Porter said drivers stopped in so many different places it was difficult for emergency responders to arrive at the scene.

“Emergency vehicles were weaving in and out like snakes,” he said. “Sometimes these vehicles are so big they can’t do that in a proper fashion and get there in a timely fashion.”

Some lawmakers questioned whether the proposed legislation would cause more confusion. Porter said he appreciates the feedback and hopes it helps general a bill that generates enough consensus for lawmakers to act.

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