Why Move Over?……… It’s the Law and You May Save a Life!
Have you heard of the Move-Over Law? If you haven’t you are not alone. Although all fifty states have some variation of the Move-Over Law many motorists still have not heard of it. Though each state varies on wording and penalties, the concept is the same. When you approach an emergency vehicle along the road you must move over if possible and slow down, even if you can’t move over safely you are required to slow down. This includes fire, EMS, police, tow trucks, mobile service vehicles and DOT.
Why have this law? Ask any emergency responder, officer, tow truck driver or DOT worker if they have been or nearly have been hit while on a roadway call and very few will tell you no to both. Paid and volunteer alike spend countless hours training to serve you, your family and friends, only to risk their lives not only in the emergency they respond to, but from the drivers passing by. Drivers speeding past, rubber necking, distracted or under the influence hit responders injuring or killing them as they serve our communities.
Still not convinced we need this law? Let’s look at the numbers. In 2019 forty-four emergency responders lost their lives in struck-by incidents. In 2020, as of Oct. 30, forty-three responders have lost their lives across the United States. That is forty-three sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and significant others not coming home to their loved ones. These numbers don’t take into account those struck and injured, some minor and many more injured to the point they are no longer able to provide for their families.
There are no clear statistics showing those struck and injured, although a search on the internet brings up hundreds of stories of incidents. You can go on www.respondersafety.com to find information for struck-by incidents. The link https://www.respondersafety.com/News/New-Interactive-Map-Of-Struck-By-LineOfDuty-Deaths-Shows-The-Dangers-Of-Working-On-The-Roadway.aspx will take you to an interactive map showing struck-by deaths in the U.S. If you still need reason to follow the Move-Over law this map with its interactive icons, dates and names of those killed should certainly make you pause and think.
So as you are driving to your destination remember, Slow Down and Move-Over when you see an emergency vehicle, tow truck or mobile service vehicle along the road. It is the law, they are there to serve your community, and most of all you may be saving their life.
Written By: Colleen Gemmill