Slow Down Move Over laws have been in effect in the U.S. for over a decade, yet most drivers still have no idea that when they fail to slow down or move over when passing a vehicle with flashing lights, such as police, ambulance or tow/roadside assistance, they are breaking the law.
In order to protect law enforcement and other highway workers, many states are starting to push more aggressive awareness campaigns through social media and advertising, as well as stepping up enforcement by issuing tickets.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), there have been 127 officer deaths from struck-by-vehicle incidents from 2007-2016. The most recent incident happened just after the new year when a police lieutenant from Jersey City, NJ was struck and killed by a passing pickup truck that failed to move over. ABC7NY reported the incident:
“New Jersey State Police said Lt. Christopher Robateau, 49, was involved in a minor crash with a DHL truck while on his way to work. He got out of his personal vehicle while in uniform to assist the other driver and was then struck and killed by a pickup truck passing by.”
This is a nightmare scenario for any driver, especially law enforcement and other emergency personnel who frequently see drivers pass their vehicles in a dangerous manner every day. Lt. Robateau’s accident is an unfortunate reminder that all drivers are at-risk if they have to pull over. Whether they are involved in an accident or happen to break down, it is important to remind drivers that they need to give anyone on the side of the road space to work safely.
“It all comes down to distraction.”
Ohio State Patrol (OSP) is taking the matter seriously after too many close calls. WKBN27 reports that “in the past five years, there have been five instances of troopers getting hit along the side of the road” in Ohio alone and OSP believes that “it all comes down to distracted driving.”
Tow companies are also getting frustrated with the lack of awareness for their workers’ safety and are now pushing to remind drivers to slow down or move over when approaching any tow or roadside assistance vehicle. Chris Flynn of Boardman Towing stated, “I don’t know if it’s just an awareness issue that people don’t realize they should [move over]. It seems like it should be common sense, but yes, it does scare us.”
In order to increase safety for police and other highway workers, we developed an integrated video and radar detection solution called PatrolSafe™ that is capable of capturing high resolution video of vehicles violating Slow Down Move Over laws.
The PatrolSafe™ solution can be installed into any police vehicle and our certified technicians ensure a seamless integration that will not interfere with the existing police vehicle equipment. Emergency equipment activates PatrolSafe™ enforcement and records throughout the entire traffic stop. If a driver passes the emergency vehicle and does not slow down or move over, as the law requires, the system captures the violation and the driver may be issued a ticket:
Optotraffic is committed to increasing safety on our roads for police and highway workers. We will continue to work with law enforcement to reduce Slow Down Move Over violations with our PatrolSafe™ and other innovative traffic enforcement solutions. If you are interested in starting an enforcement program in your community or would like more information on any of our traffic safety programs, please contact us today.