Move Over to Protect Police, Fire, and EMS Personnel
It’s the Law, and It Could Save a Life
Every day, America’s first responders—our police, firefighters, and EMS personnel—put their lives on the line to help protect us. When you’re out on the road, do your part to help to protect them. If you see them working on the roadside, Move Over to give them the room they need to work safely.
All 50 States have “Move Over” laws that say that you must change lanes away from a first responder or slow down significantly when they’re working on the side of the road. That’s because, for all their jobs’ challenges, one of the biggest dangers they face is being struck by a vehicle when they’re helping a motorist who has broken down, responding to a crash, or issuing a citation.
Prior to 2016, traffic-related incidents have been the number one cause of officer fatalities in 15 of the last 20 years. Last year, 135 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. Of the 53 that were killed in traffic-related incidents, 15 were struck and killed while outside of their vehicle.
We need to raise awareness of the importance of Move Over laws, as these tragedies keep happening across America.
In September 2012, Trooper Matthew Mitchell was on a roadside issuing a citation when he was hit by a vehicle and thrown nearly 90 feet. He was severely injured but, thankfully, survived.
In Colorado last November, a State trooper was struck and killed while investigating a crash on I-25.
Just this past January in Cleveland, Officer David Fahey was killed on I-90 when he was struck by a vehicle while assisting at a crash scene.
These crashes are 100-percent preventable if drivers are attentive, obey the law, and Move Over to give first responders space to work.
If you’ve ever broken down on the side of a highway, you know how unnerving it is to feel traffic closely rushing by at 55 or 65 mph. Now imagine that’s part of your workplace, as it is for our first responders. When they’re on the side of the road, they’re focused on protecting our safety, enforcing the law, even saving a life. We should be looking out for them by making sure we Move Over or slow down when they’re doing their already-challenging and essential jobs.
While our first responders signed up to face danger, if necessary, they shouldn’t have to confront it in the form of a vehicle that isn’t giving them room to work safely. If you see the flashing lights on the roadside, you know what to do: Move Over to protect the men and women who do so much to protect all of us.