“Move over; it’s the law!” That is the urgent message from public safety groups across the U.S.
Here’s why; many of us freeze and don’t know what to do when we see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its lights flashing. Not moving over is breaking the law, and could endanger a first responder, tow truck driver or highway worker’s life.
Traffic incidents are the number one cause of in the line of duty deaths for law enforcement officers and highway workers. On average, an officer or highway worker gets hit by a driver every day in the U.S. They include Colorado State Trooper Cody Donahue, struck and killed November 2016 by a distracted truck driver as he investigated an accident, and Johnson County Kansas Master Deputy Brandon Collins died when a driver slammed into the back of his cruiser in January of 2017. They are just a few of the hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighter/EMTs and highway workers injured or killed every year while trying to help others.
Because of the human toll, every state in the U.S. now has a “move over” law mandating that drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights must move to the next adjacent lane if it is safe to do so or to slow down significantly if unable to move over.
A recent poll found 70 percent of Americans have not heard of “move over” laws and didn’t know what they should do. That’s why jurisdictions across the country are stepping up education and enforcement about their “move over” requirements as the summer driving season gets into full swing. The odds are that you’ve seen a tweet, a Facebook post or a variable message board promoting the “move over” law in your area.
Penalties vary, but drivers who fail to slow down and move over can get a ticket.
Rather than get a ticket or cause a serious accident, California Casualty is asking you to slow down and move over when you see an officer, paramedic, firefighter, tow truck driver or road crew with their lights flashing on the side of the road. You could save a life.