TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today Nov 12, 2023
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear has declared the period of November 13-17 as Crash Responder Safety Week in Kentucky to protect those who protect us, and to also remind Kentuckians about the state’s “Move Over” law.
“Every day on our roadways, emergency responders and public safety personnel put their lives at risk to protect Kentuckians across the commonwealth,” Beshear stated. “Please slow down and move over to help keep these dedicated heroes safe as they work to make Kentucky a safer place for all of us to call home.”
Kentucky passed its Move Over law in 2003 requiring drivers to move over to the adjacent lane when approaching an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle with flashing lights. If changing lanes is impossible or unsafe, drivers must slow down and use caution. Failure to do so can result in fines, jail time or both.
“While some drivers may believe that moving over is just a courtesy, it is not – it’s the law,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “Remember to stay alert, slow down and move over.”
The law is designed to protect all first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, safety service patrols and towing vehicles.
“Our first responders do heroic work as vehicles sometimes pass by at hair-raising speeds,” said Secretary Gray. “The least we can do is help them help us by slowing down and remembering to drive alert.”
Unfortunately, first responders are injured or killed every year by drivers who fail to move over. In Kentucky over the past three years, crashes involving emergency vehicles in response to an incident resulted in more than 1,000 collisions, over 360 injuries and five deaths. In addition to educating drivers, local responders are encouraged to take the free National Traffic Incident Management Responder training from the Federal Highway Administration, to stay updated on best practices.
More than 600,000 responders nationwide have been trained to date through free in-person, online instructor-led or online self-paced curriculum.
All 50 states have enacted “Move Over” laws.