Law enforcement agencies across the DC area have a simple message for commuters this week—move over, slow down and save lives.
Virginia and Maryland State Police have teamed up with police and sheriff’s departments across the region for the “Move Over” campaign, which encourages drivers to move over for police working alongside roads and highways.
“Move Over isn’t just a law. It’s a best practice we should all adopt as drivers because it saves lives,” said Virginia State Police Capt. James E. De Ford Sr., commander of the bureau of field operations of the Fairfax Division.
Virginia’s “Move Over” law requires drivers to move into an adjacent lane when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights. Emergency vehicles include first-responders (police, fire and paramedics), as well as tow trucks.
If motorists cannot move over, they are required to slow down while carefully passing the emergency vehicle. First-time offenders must pay a $250 fine.
“Last year alone, eight Virginia state troopers were struck by vehicles, but each of them could have escaped injury if the drivers involved had moved over or slowed down when they saw flashing lights ahead,” De Ford said in a statement. “These actions may seem small, but they have a huge impact.”
From 2008 to 2017, 126 law enforcement officers working roadside were struck by a vehicle because a driver did not heed the “Move Over” law.
Arlington County, Alexandria, Prince William County, Fairfax County and Loudoun County are the local law enforcement agencies participating in the “Move Over” campaign, which runs from Sunday through Saturday, June 23.
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