(KLIX) – A law that helps ensure the safety of law officers pulled to the side of the road is expanding in the Gem State.

Idaho’s “move over” law, which requires motorists to move out of the lane closest to a stopped law enforcement vehicle with it slights on, will now require drivers to move over for other emergency responders, including road workers and tow truck operators.

The expanded law goes into effect July 1.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) said it is pleased with the expansion, because it said vehicles every day pass its workers on state highways or the interstate at high speeds, often at risk to the workers.

"The expansion of the 'Move Over' Law to include highway workers makes an inherently risky job safer for our staff," ITD Operations Engineer Jerry Wilson said in a statement. "At highway speeds, it only takes a split second for an accident to happen, so making some space to allow our crews to maintain the roads makes the highways safer, both for us and the traveling public."

Emergency Services Manager Neal Murphy spearheaded the department's efforts to have the expansion considered by lawmakers. The bill was brought forward by Rep. John McCrostie of Boise.

ITD officials said though the expanded law doesn't take effect for several more days, it already is helping to increase the safety of workers and others on Idaho's roadways because of the many drivers who are already training themselves to the new law.

"Since passage of the expanded law this spring, I have noted some voluntary compliance by the public for highway workers as well as disabled travelers along the roadside," said ITD southeast Idaho Operation Engineer Steve Gertonson. "This is a positive outcome and a win-win situation for both the workers and the public."

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