Lacie D’s Weblog

blogging my way into the “real world”

“Slow Down. Change Lanes. Save Lives.”

Posted by lacied on October 6, 2008

Move Over! It’s the law, it saves lives, and it’s common sense.

Local law enforcement is cracking down careless motorists who fail to follow Georgia’s Move-Over Law.

If you haven’t ever heard of this law before, it really is just common sense. It requires drivers to move-over one lane when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of the highway, if traffic is too heavy to move-over safely, the law requires drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit instead AND to be prepared to stop.

Pretty simple, right? Unfortunately; failure to comply with the Move-Over Law will get you slapped with a $500 fine.

This law isn’t a new one; Georgia’s Move-Over Law was passed in 2003 due to the growing numbers of police, emergency technicians and DOT workers being killed during routine traffic stops, crash responses and highway construction projects around the nation.

Without nationwide Move-Over Laws, more than 150 law enforcement officers have been struck and killed by vehicles along America’s highways since 1997. This deadly decade demonstrates that each time an officer makes a traffic stop it’s one of the gravest dangers police can face on the road today.

Local Statesboro Police Officer Patrick Harrelson knows all too well about these near-death experiences. “More than once I have been hit by car mirrors and my hat has been blown off” he said.

Almost every time he steps out of his car to check a driver’s license, someone is in violation of not moving over. “Did you know that n 2007 the leading cause of police officer deaths were traffic-related (incidents) rather than gunfire?”Officer Harrelson said.

You may be wondering, “How can I get a ticket for not moving-over if a cop is already writing a ticket for someone else?”Well, to enforce the law further traffic enforcement units are now routinely patrolling in pairs to ensure their safety. While one officer is working traffic enforcement, a second officer cites drivers who fail to move-over or slow down, and writes them a hefty $500 fine, yikes!

Taking your ticket to court won’t get the fine dropped. Courts refuse to dismiss tickets for drivers just because they weren’t aware of the law. The $500 fine is the minimum amount to be charged; quite an expensive lesson to learn, and do you really have $500 lying around to spare? Now you know, just move over!

All you have to remember is common sense when you’re behind the wheel avoid the chance of causing injury or death to those serving us every day. They ensure our safety, so we should do our part and keep them safe too.

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