Move Over. It’s The Law
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to get the word out about an important traffic safety law. Their campaign, “Move Over, It’s The Law” is aimed at raising awareness about a very important issue. As of 2012, Hawaii was the 50th state to enact a “Move Over” law to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders. The NHTSA is maximizing publicity through social media campaigns in addition to more traditional public service announcements.
What is the Move Over Law?
The Move Over law is basically a law that requires motorists to move over a lane for first responders, law enforcement officers or other roadside workers when they’re pulled over on the side of the road. If you see flashing lights, move over. If you can’t move over, slow down to a reasonably safe speed for passing.
Why is Moving Over so Important?
It may not occur to some drivers that a pulled over law enforcement vehicle needs plenty of room to stay safe, but moving over for law enforcement officers and other first responders is actually a life-saving maneuver. In fact, the number one cause of death for on-duty law enforcement officers is traffic-related incidents. Recent research shows that only about 71 percent of the public knows about Move Over laws, which means people are still out there dangerous blowing past first responders.
• In 2013, 46 law enforcement officers were struck and killed in traffic incidents.
• During the first half of 2014, 26 police officers were killed on highways.
• From 2003 to 2013, 138 law enforcement officers were struck and killed on U.S. roadways.
• The first Move Over law was enacted in South Carolina in 1996 after a paramedic was struck and killed responding to a crash.
It’s Not Just the Law, It’s the Right Thing to Do
The NHTSA is quick to point out that moving over isn’t just the law, it’s the right thing to do. Keeping first responders safe is an important part of keeping Californians safe. In addition to keeping police officers and other first responders safe, motorists are encouraged to share the road with and lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders and other roadway users.