The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been stepping up enforcement of the Move Over/Slow Down Law through Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort). This provides law enforcement with information, training and a forum for discussing roadway safety issues. These issues include the improvement of public safety on our roads and highways. In 1978, every U.S. state became part of this effort in order to deter speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints. So, originally this effort focused more on the protection of the public, rather than the protection of law enforcement.
OPERATION CARE’S ROLE IN ACCIDENT REDUCTION
State police and highway patrol agencies have joined together with the goal of reducing human suffering on our highways. And it is the only national program designed to draw ALL state level law enforcement agencies together to achieve common goals of traffic accident reduction. Their efforts created the standardized field sobriety testing and the support of mandatory seat belt use legislation back in 1984. And I do remember when a driver could have an open container in the car as well as when you did not have to wear a seat belt. Your mom’s forearm was your seat belt.
MOVE OVER/SLOW DOWN LAW
And now, efforts are also focusing on enforcement of the Move Over/Slow Down Law. Passed in 2003, this law requires motorists to move over or slow down 20mph below the posted speed limit when passing emergency vehicles or service vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights flashing. This includes Police, Ambulance, Fire Trucks, Tow Trucks, the Department of Transportation, etc. These workers risk their lives every day for us. And their safety is particularly vulnerable while working on the side of the road.
Today all 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are involved in C.A.R.E.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
OPERATION CARE – Comedy Defensive Driving