The Jefferson police department is joining with highway safety agencies across the nation to remind motorists of “Move Over” laws.
A new “Move Over: It’s the Law” campaign is reminding drivers that every state has laws requiring drivers to move over and /or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most dangerous part of an officer’s job is stepping out on the side of the road, whether it’s for a traffic stop or to investigated a crash or disabled motorist. From 2003-2012, of the 1,540 officers killed in the line of duty, 44 percent were killed in traffic-related incidents.
“It’s far too common,” said JPD captain Heath Enns. “These emergency personnel work in dangerous situations all the time, but drivers really increase that risk for them when they zoom by and ignore the flashing lights, and the law.”
NHTSA has used a similar high-visibility approach in other traffic safety campaigns, such as “Click It or Ticket.” These tactics have proven helpful in getting the word out about existing laws and reasons they’re important.
Enns stressed the meaning behind the national awareness campaign. “Many drivers seem to think that moving over is just an optional courtesy when they see law enforcement or emergency vehicles pulled over on the side of the road,” he said. “It’s not optional. Move over. It’s the law.”