Whenever you see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its lights flashing, you must move over and put an empty lane between you and them for their safety. If you can’t move over or perhaps you’re traveling on a two lane road, you must slow down 20 miles under the posted speed limit when passing them. To me, it just seems like common sense. Even if someone is changing a tire on the shoulder, I do my best to move over or slow down when I pass them. You know what I mean, if you’ve ever stopped on the side of a freeway to get something out of the trunk, to change drivers or to dump a body. It feels like those semi-trucks are going to suck you right under them. You know what I’m talking about…the dumping a body, I mean.  They call it the Move Over Law.

Another problem I see with this, though, is that some police still write tickets on the drivers’ side of the car, rather than on the passenger side, which seems safer. There’s a reality show on cable that shows videos of police being clipped by passing vehicles, with the footage being caught on the police car’s dashboard camera. I think the show is called COPS. I watch that show just to see if I have any family members on there. And the answer is yes, I always do.

According to Move Over America which is an awesome website, devoted to educating the masses about the move over law, between 1999 and 2010, over 164 officers were struck and killed by vehicles. They also said that poll results show that 71% of Americans have not even heard of the move over law. This website also has a nifty little map of the United States where you can roll your mouse over any state to see when the move over law went into effect in that state and what the penalties are. While South Dakota’s penalty is a Class 2 misdemeanor and a few of the southern states charge you a hefty fine, plus jail time and community service, Hawaii and D.C. do not implement the move over law.

And, just so you know, we’re talking about not only police, but also firemen, paramedics or any emergency personnel, tow truck drivers and those highway courtesy trucks too!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Artist / Writer