The Nevada Highway Patrol is reminding drivers of the “Move Over” law after five patrol vehicles were struck across the state in the past month.
The law requires drivers “to slow down, proceed with caution, and, when possible, move to the far lane” when passing emergency-response vehicles stopped on the side of the road or highway, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Between Feb. 10 and Wednesday, five Highway Patrol vehicles had been struck by motorists while troopers were conducting traffic stops. None of the involved troopers suffered serious injuries, but two remained on light duty Wednesday because of their injuries, according to spokesman Jason Buratczuk.
“Please remember to Slow Down and Move Over when you see a Trooper or first responder on the side of the freeway,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday. “Our life depends on it.”
The crashes were caused by inclement weather and poor road conditions, drivers not following the “Move Over” law or suspected impairment, Buratczuk said.
“The Nevada Highway Patrol cannot stress enough of the importance of slowing down when approaching emergency vehicles working in an official capacity on the side of the freeway,” Buratczuk said. “Emergency vehicles are vehicles that have red, blue or yellow flashing lights and include police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks and the Nevada Department of Transportation vehicles.”
According to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, eight fire or emergency medical responders, 12 police officers and 50 tow truck drivers are killed annually while working on freeways in the United States.