U.S. States Are Reporting a Sharp Increase in Drivers not Moving Over and Striking Police
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many states throughout the United States are reporting a significant spike in the number of drivers failing to move over for law enforcement and emergency responders resulting in severe injuries and deaths.
All 50 states have passed "Move Over" laws. However, only a few Americans are aware of their state's Move Over law. About 71% of drivers are unaware of the law.
Each state's "Move Over" law requires drivers to "slow down and, when possible, move over" when the driver sees flashing lights along the side of the road ahead. NHTSA states that traffic-related accidents continue to be one of the top causes of on-duty law enforcement officer deaths.
The "Move Over" law is not a new law. The first "Move Over" law was made official in South Carolina back in 1996. South Carolina enacted the law after a paramedic was tragically hit and killed while responding to an accident. Since 1996, each state has passed a similar law. The State of Hawaii was the last state to enact "Move Over" legislation in 2012.
What Drivers Need to Do to Obey the "Move Over" Law
When you are driving, and you see an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the roadway using its flashing lights:
- Immediately reduce your speed;
- Move over if you can safely do so;
- Switch to a lane that's not immediately next to the emergency vehicle, if possible
If a driver violates the "Move Over" law, the fines could reach as much as $500. In some states, a violation of the "Move Over" law is punishable with a large fine as well as jail time.
It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education. Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway. Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries. To learn about our Don't Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit montlick.com and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting iridesafe.com.
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