Several States Report a Spike in Drivers Crashing Into Police

A Reminder to Everyone to Move Over

Several states are reporting an increase in drivers failing to move over and crashing into emergency responders.

In Illinois, drivers hit 15 State Police troopers or vehicles, while the officers were stopped along a road with their lights flashing, in the first three months of 2019. This is nearly double the number of such crashes ISP had in all of 2018. In two of the recent crashes, Troopers Christopher Lambert and Brooke Jones-Story died.

Two police cars with severe damage
Damage to two ISP vehicles after recent crashes, both troopers survived. Illinois State Police

State Police in Michigan report that they had, on average, four crashes every month from January 1, 2016, until February 13 of this year when an expanded Move Over law took effect.

Move Over: It’s the Law Everywhere

Every state has a law requiring you to slow down and, when possible, move over if you see flashing lights on the side of the road. Clearly, not all drivers are following the law. Of 47 law enforcement officers killed in traffic-related incidents in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, nine officers were struck and killed outside their vehicles. Traffic-related incidents continue to be one of the leading causes of death among on-duty law enforcement officers.

What You Need to Do

If you see an emergency vehicle stopped along a roadway with flashing lights:

  1. Immediately slow down;
  2. Move over if you can safely do so; and
  3. Switch to a lane that’s not immediately next to the emergency vehicle, if possible.

Help spread the word among your family, friends, and on social media, #MoveOver.

A Look at Recent Police Crashes

And a Message From NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King