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‘Move over’ law will keep everyone – including first responders – safer

It is a law that has the potential to save lives on area and state highways. Last week, the new “move over” law went into effect to make any emergency zone safer for first responders.

The measure was put forth by Republican state senators — Doug Mastriano and Kim Ward — and was proposed in July 2020. In a legislative memo, the senators say it was in direct response to several accidents, including those that killed a tow truck driver and injuries to law enforcement personnel.

The name of the law was specifically changed “to clarify how the motoring public should react when approaching or passing an emergency response area,” they wrote.

This, many may suggest, is common sense. However, too often, motorists worry more about getting to where they’re going instead of a potential hazard that may be taking place on the shoulder of a route they are traveling.

The legislation also clarifies how a disabled vehicle should be identified, stating that two of three possible markings — vehicle hazard signal lamps (flashers), caution signs or road flares.

“The steeper fines and point assessment introduced in this legislation should act as a deterrent against repeat offenders,” the senators conclude, “while also providing another opportunity to educate drivers on the ‘move over’ law.”

This is one more way to keep those answering the call to assist safe.

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