National “Move Over” campaign stops in Shoals to spread awareness

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – It’s a traffic law in all 50 states, but statistics show more than 60% of all drivers are unaware there is a “Move Over” law for emergency services.

A traffic stop or wreck scene is one of the most dangerous situations a first responder might face. Aside from the incident they are working, danger can approach from behind.

“When you hear a car get off the road and hit the rumble strips, to us that means run for your life,” stated Andy Smith, owner of Andy’s Towing Service.

Police, fire fighters, ambulance personnel, and tow truck drivers all face the same dangers on emergency calls. Which is why they are strong proponents of the move over law; it’s designed to keep them safe.

Andy Smith

Andy Smith has had many close calls. “I just remember the one where I got hit in the back with a mirror and folded up and spun around in the road. That’s the only one that stands out, but how many times almost, I can’t keep up with that.”

The Spirit Ride Slow Down/Move Over campaign is helping get the word out about the law. In Alabama the law reads, “If a vehicle has flashing lights cars must change lanes if the road is four lanes, to give them distance to work.” However, “If another lane is not available, the driver must slow down 15-miles-per-hour below the posted speed limit.”

“That’s somebody’s mother, father, brother, sister; it’s a great risk for the professions,” explained Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan.

The casket Spirit Ride is taking across the country represents the 100 responders who die at the hands of a driver each year on the side of a road.

Traffic citations can be issued to drivers who ignore the move over law here in Alabama. The law also covers construction and utility workers with flashing lights on their vehicles.

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