More than 170 law enforcement officers in the United States have died after being struck by motor vehicles since 1999. Thousands have been injured.
In an effort to make roadways safer for everyone, the Alabama Department of Public Safety is partnering with Florida and Georgia throughout the month of February to promote what is known as the 'move over' law.
This law requires motorists to move over one lane when authorized emergency-responder vehicles, including police, fire and EMS vehicles and tow trucks, are stopped or parked roadside with emergency signals activated.
"To do our jobs, we must work in close proximity to traffic. The 'move over' law provides all first responders and emergency workers the clearance they need to work safely," said Col. Hugh B. McCall, director of the Department of Public Safety.
McCall says the Department of Public Safety is teaming up with the Florida Highway Patrol and Georgia State Patrol to draw attention to this law. During the month long effort, Alabama state troopers and law enforcement officers in Florida and Georgia will work together to educate motorists.
When moving over is unsafe or not possible, such as on two-lane roadways, the law requires motorists to slow to at least 15 mph below the posted speed limit.
In areas where the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less, motorists must slow to 10 mph. Citations for violation of the 'move-over' law carry a fine of up to $25 for first offense, with increasing fines for second and subsequent offenses.
Alabama first enacted 'move-over' regulations in 2006 as part of Act 2006-546, and the majority of states have adopted versions of the law.