If you have ever stopped along the roadside to check a tire, take a photo or change drivers you realize how vulnerable you are standing by your car as drivers go zooming past.
Every year, first responders are injured or killed while providing emergency services along America’s highways. The “Move Over” Law, which has been enacted in all 50 states, aims to make all roadside emergency and maintenance professionals safer. Unfortunately, a national survey shows that 71 percent of Americans have never heard of “Move Over” laws.
The Colorado Springs Police Department and their traffic safety partners, DRIVE SMART COLORADO, would like to remind drivers about Colorado’s “Move Over” Law.
First, what is the “Move Over” Law? Colorado’s “Move Over” Law was officially implemented on July 1, 2005 to help protect emergency response personnel. This includes law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency service responders, tow truck operators and state, county and local highway maintenance workers. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) summarizes the law as follows: “Colorado’s Move Over Law stipulates required driver response to approaching emergency response vehicles as well as those stopped along the roadways. In summary, when emergency vehicles are approaching on a non-divided highway, all vehicles are required to move to the right side of the roadway and stop, clearing a path for the emergency vehicle to have the right of way. On a divided highway, those vehicles traveling the same direction as the emergency response vehicle are required to pull over to the right and stop until the vehicle passes. In the case of emergency or response vehicles stopped along the roadway, including maintenance trucks and vehicles from CDOT, counties, and municipalities, the Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down and drive responsibly when on two-lane highways, and on divided multi-lane highways to slow down and move to a lane away from the emergency vehicle to allow maximum clear space for personnel to respond.”
Some sobering facts:
- Recently, in one day, four Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) patrol cars were hit while in the line of duty.
- Across the United States, crashes that could have been prevented by drivers moving over kill an average of one tow truck driver every six days; 23 highway workers and one law enforcement officer every month; and five firefighters every year.
In Colorado, drivers who do not abide by the law can expect a minimum fine of $169.50 with surcharges and four points off your license.
Maile Gray, DRIVE SMART Executive Director, says, “It is a good idea, and common courtesy, for drivers to move over for all motorists parked along the roadside, even though it is not part of Colorado’s statute and also, please remember to ‘Pull to the Right for Sirens and Lights’.”
For more information on the “Move Over” Law, please contact DRIVE SMART COLORADO at 719-444-7534.