Changing Lanes When Passing Stopped Emergency Vehicles Not Only Prevents Injuries And Saves Lives, It Can Avoid Significant Fines

Changing Lanes When Passing Stopped Emergency Vehicles Not Only Prevents Injuries And Saves Lives, It Can Avoid Significant Fines

Changing Lanes When Passing Stopped Emergency Vehicles Not Only Prevents Injuries And Saves Lives, It Can Avoid Significant Fines

On June 19, 2014, a West Virginia State Police Trooper was seriously injured when struck by a hit and run vehicle on the West Virginia turnpike in Southern West Virginia. Since 1999, more than 150 law enforcement officers throughout the United States have been killed after being struck by vehicles along the nation's highways. Between the years of 2003 and 2010, 962 workers were killed while working at a road construction site, with the majority of these fatalities resulting from being struck by a vehicle. Needless to say, hundreds of people, including emergency responders and stranded motorists are killed or injured throughout the United States every year when they're struck by a vehicle after pulling over to the side of the road or highway.

On average, these "struck-by" crashes kill one tow-truck driver every six days; 23 highway workers and one law-enforcement officer every month; and five firefighters every year. Move Over Laws have been enacted in all fifty statesrequiring drivers to change lanes and to provide law enforcement officers, emergency personal, tow truck drivers, construction workers and others on roadsides with a safe clearance. The failure to "move over" can result in criminal charges, fines and possible jail time.

Ohio's Move Over Law requires drivers to shift over one lane when passing any stationary public service vehicle, emergency vehicle or road service vehicle with flashing lightson the side of the road. If changing lanes safely is not possible, a driver is required to slow down, proceed with caution, watch for objects to appear in the lane of traffic and be prepared to stop. Any person violating Ohio's Move Over Law is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Violators are fined double the amountwv state police move over.jpg of$150 for the first violation (a minor misdemeanor), double the amount of $250 for the same violation within a year of the first, and double the amount of $500 for more than two violations in a year.

?Pennsylvania's Move Over Law or "Steer Clear Law" was originally implemented in 2006 and requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle. Like Ohio, Pennsylvania requires vehicles approaching or passing an emergency response area to move to a non-adjacent lane, if possible, and if not possible, to pass the area at a careful and prudent reduced speed.An emergency response area is defined to be an area where emergency service responders render emergency assistance on or near a road way or where a police officer is conducting a traffic stop. Emergency service responder is broadly defined to include law enforcement personnel, coroners, firefighters, medical examiners, ambulance personnel, towing and recovery personnel, highway maintenance and construction personnel and hazardous material response team members. Violators are fined $250.00 and if serious injury results are subject to license suspension.

?West Virginia's Move Over Law was originally implemented in 2003 and applies whenever there are law enforcement, emergency vehicles, first responders and tow truck on the side of the road. Drivers are required to proceed with caution and move to a non-adjacent lane if possible when traveling on four-lane highways. On non-divided highways and streets, drivers are directed to reduce their speed to fifteen miles per hour, depending on road conditions if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe. Violators may be found guilty of a misdemeanor, subjected to a fine of up to $500, in addition to possible jail confinement of up to sixty (60) days. If the violation results in property damage, a sixty (60) day license suspension occurs. The license suspension increased to six (6)months for injury to a person and two (2) years for a death.

?Summer means vacations, increased highway traffic and road construction. It also means an increase in the chances of coming across emergency responders. Slowing down and moving when approaching a disabled vehicle, law enforcement officer or any other first responder may prevent an injury, or possibly even death. Slowing down and moving over will definitely prevent the fines and possible loss of driving privileges described above. We at Bordas & Bordas wish you a safe and happy summer driving season.