2001 - 2002 LEGISLATURE
January 12, 2001 - Introduced by Senator Burke, cosponsored by Representative
Kaufert. Referred to Committee on Insurance, Tourism, and Transportation.
1An Act to amend
346.05 (3) and 346.17 (2); and to create
343.30 (1o) and 2
346.072 of the statutes; relating to: motorists approaching certain authorized
3emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped near a highway and providing a
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law generally requires motorists to drive in the right-hand lane of the
roadway. Motorists are also generally required to pass to the left of traffic traveling
in the same direction, but are allowed to pass traffic to the right under certain
This bill requires any motorist approaching an authorized emergency vehicle
(such as police, fire, ambulance, and conservation warden vehicles) or tow truck that
is stopped on or within 12 feet of the paved portion of a highway and which is giving
visual signal by a flashing light, to move into a lane not nearest the authorized
emergency vehicle or tow truck and travel in that lane until he or she passes the
authorized emergency vehicle or tow truck. If the roadway has only one lane for
traffic traveling in the same direction as the approaching motorist, or if the motorist
cannot change lanes safely or without interfering with other traffic, the motorist
must slow until he or she has passed the authorized emergency vehicle or tow truck.
A motorist who violates this requirement may be required to forfeit not less
than $30 nor more than $300. The bill also requires a court to suspend the violator's
operating privilege for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, if the violation
resulted in damage to another's property; to suspend the violator's operating
privilege for not less than 180 days nor more than two years, if the violation resulted
in bodily harm to another; and to suspend the violator's operating privilege for two
years if the violation resulted in the death of another.
The bill takes effect on July 1, 2001, or on the first day of the fourth month
beginning after publication, whichever is later.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB10, s. 1
343.30 (1o) of the statutes is created to read:
Upon conviction of a person for violating s. 346.072, the court shall 3
suspend the violator's operating privilege as follows:
(a) For a period of not less than 90 days nor more than one year, if the offense 5
resulted in damage to the property of another but did not result in bodily harm to 6
(b) For a period of not less than 180 days nor more than 2 years, if the offense 8
resulted in bodily harm to another but did not result in the death of another.
(c) For a period of 2 years, if the offense resulted in the death of another.
SB10, s. 2
346.05 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
Any vehicle proceeding upon a roadway at less than the normal 12
speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be 13
driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to 14
the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing 15
another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn 16
at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, and except as provided in s.
SB10, s. 3
346.072 of the statutes is created to read:
1346.072 Passing stopped emergency vehicles and tow trucks. (1)
operator of a motor vehicle approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is 3
giving visual signal or a tow truck that is flashing red lamps, as required by s. 347.26 4
(6) (b), and is parked or standing on or within 12 feet of a roadway shall proceed with 5
due regard for all other traffic and shall do either of the following:
(a) Move the vehicle into a lane that is not the lane nearest the parked or 7
standing authorized emergency vehicle or tow truck and continue traveling in that 8
lane until safely clear of the authorized emergency vehicle or tow truck. This 9
paragraph applies only if the roadway has at least two lanes for traffic proceeding 10
in the direction of the approaching vehicle and if the approaching vehicle may change 11
lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
(b) Slow the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions, and operate 13
the vehicle at a reduced speed until completely past the authorized emergency 14
vehicle or tow truck. This paragraph applies only if the roadway has only one lane 15
for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle or if the approaching 16
vehicle may not change lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular 17
In addition to any penalty imposed under s. 346.17 (2), any person violating 19
this section shall have his or her operating privilege suspended as provided in s. 20
SB10, s. 4
346.17 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
Any person violating ss. 346.05, 346.07 (2) or (3), 346.072,
346.09, 346.10 (2) to (4), 346.11, 346.13 (2) or 346.14 to 346.16 may be required to 24
forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300.
This act takes effect on July 1, 2001, or on the first day of the 4th month 2
beginning after publication, whichever is later.