Move Over to Protect CHP and Road Workers
While we might often think of dangerous armed criminals as the number-one threat to law enforcement officer safety, that’s not quite the case. The most dangerous part of any law enforcement officer’s job is something they do every day, work on the side of the road. In 2013 alone, 46 law enforcement officers across the nation were struck and killed in traffic related incidents. From 2003 to 2013, 138 law enforcement officers were struck and killed on U.S. highways. Unfortunately, recent research indicates only about percent of the public is aware of “Move Over” laws.
Move Over, It’s The Law
The first “Move Over” law was enacted in South Carolina after a paramedic was struck and killed assisting at a crash scene. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been increasing efforts to raise awareness about “Move Over” laws in all 50 states. In 2007, the “Move Over” law took effect in California. In 2009, it was amended to include Caltrans vehicles with flashing amber lights. These laws are designed to protect law enforcement officers and roadway workers. Giving these people the room to safely do their jobs will help to ensure they get home to their families at the end of the day. Not only will you keep California roadways safer by moving over, you will also avoid a ticket.
What to do When Approaching Emergency or Caltrans Vehicles
- Make a lane change into any lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency or Caltrans vehicle.
- If unable to safely make a lane change, slow down to a reasonable speed for existing weather, road and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions to safely pass.
Keeping California Roadways Safe
Every day, California Highway Patrol officers, local law enforcement officers and other emergency responders and roadway workers put their lives at risk on California roadways. This is the most dangerous part of their jobs. Moving over protects emergency responders, roadway workers and the motorists, pedestrians or other roadway users they are assisting. Ensuring these people have plenty of room is absolutely critical to keeping roadways in California safe.