ODOT, OSP remind drivers to “Protect those who protect you” and move over
The week of Nov. 14-18, 2016 is National Traffic Incident Response Week, recognizing the emergency responders who protect travelers after crashes and breakdowns on the highway.
ODOT and the Oregon State Police are using this week to remind travelers to protect those who protect you by following Oregon’s Move Over law.
If there’s another lane in the direction you’re traveling, you must move over when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle displaying its emergency warning lights. This includes a police car, fire truck, ambulance, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle. If you cannot safely move over, you must slow down by at least five miles an hour below the posted speed limit.
If you’re on a two-lane road with one lane in each direction, you obviously cannot move over, but you still must slow down. Always provide as much room as possible.
“The law is simple common sense and courtesy,” said ODOT Director Matthew Garrett. “Moving over not only makes sense, it saves lives.”
Protecting every road user
The Move Over law helps protect law enforcement officers and emergency workers from deadly threats they face on a daily basis: speeding and/or inattentive drivers. But the law also exists to protect you and your passengers. The flashing lights are your cue to move over and slow down. The Move Over law helps keep everyone using Oregon’s roads safe.
Data: Roadside crashes kill more responders than any other type of incident
Law enforcement officers and emergency responders put their lives on the line to save our lives every day. When emergency responders are on the side of the road responding to an incident, they put themselves in harm’s way.
According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, traffic incidents are the leading cause of death for both police officers and emergency responders. On average every year nationwide, 12 law enforcement officers, five fire and rescue personnel and 60 tow operators are killed on America’s roads while on scene.
In Oregon, crash statistics from 2005 through 2014 show that on average, more than one crash involving stopped or parked emergency vehicles occurs each month; about 10 people are hurt in these crashes every year.
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