Police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are at constant risk when they stop their vehicles on the side of the road. This is also true for people working on the side of the road doing repairs and helping motorists whose vehicles are disabled.
The Move Over Law is in place to protect these workers. It requires drivers of passing vehicles to provide ample room to vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
Unfortunately, there has been a worrisome spike in the number of accidents in which drivers have not followed the Move Over Law. These accidents not only place the first responders and repair crews at risk, but can cause a chain reaction accident that puts otherwise law-abiding drivers in jeopardy.
The Move Over Law came into effect in 2002. As stated above, the objective is to protect workers on the side of the road whether it is a first responder, repair crews or tow trucks. Drivers are expected to move one lane away from the stopped vehicle on the highway when it is safe to do so. If it is not, they must slow down. When the law is violated, drivers can be fined $250.
Recently, there have been circumstances where drivers ignoring the Move Over Law led to danger to first responders. In one, a patrolman was helping a trucker whose vehicle had a flat tire. As he returned to his vehicle, he saw another vehicle speeding toward his. It rear-ended his vehicle even those its lights were flashing. He did not suffer serious injuries, but he easily could have.
In another incident, a trooper was helping other law enforcement officers investigate a drunk driver. He went to get back into his cruiser and stopped to answer a question from a deputy. The vehicle was hit where he would have been standing had he not stopped to respond to the question. Another driver who was under the influence had flouted the Move Over Law and hit the cruiser. These are just examples of what can happen when the Move Over Law is ignored. In other cases, people might not be as lucky and avoid injury and even death.
When drivers ignore the laws of the state, it places themselves and others in jeopardy of injuries and death. That includes the Move Over Law as well as drinking and driving, speeding, behaving in a reckless manner, distracted driving and many other laws. People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in this type of accident will want answers as to why it happened. They are also going to be confronted with various challenges including medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care and, in a worst-case scenario, coming to grips with the loss of a loved one.
The litany of problems people will need to deal with after an auto accident is immense. The entire case must be investigated to determine its cause and who is responsible. When there was a collision because of failing to follow the Move Over Law, the details must be analyzed and steps taken to recover sufficient compensation for all that was lost.