Bird Dog Traffic Control - Move Over to Maintain Traffic Safety

Maintaining traffic control is critical for keeping roads safe. That’s why Bird Dog Traffic Control ensures the safety of everyone on the road, especially when it comes to providing traffic safety services, traffic safety support, and a highly skilled workforce when traffic control measures need to be put in place.

However, we also recognize that while trained traffic controllers, foreman and law enforcement officials manage construction and event zones, a huge part of traffic control and safety lies on the shoulders of those driving. After all, if we’re all not practicing safe driving habits on the road, no one is safe, including the workers who are attempting to keep the chaos to a minimum when traffic events occur.

So how can you help maintain safety on the road? One simple way is to make sure you’re aware of and understand the traffic laws that govern the road. For example, did you know that there is a law that states you’re required to move over, slow down and change lanes when certain vehicles are parked on the side of the road? Keep reading to learn more about this law, how it affects you and why these laws should be important to you.

What is a Move Over Law?

A move over law is a law which requires motorists to move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulances, utility workers, and in some cases, tow-truck drivers.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, all fifty states in the U.S. have a “Move Over” law that drivers should be aware of.

How Do Move Over Laws Affect You?

Have you ever gotten a flat tire on the highway and needed to pull over? If so, you know firsthand how stressful it is to step out of your car and hundreds of cars are racing by. Not to mention, a road’s shoulder doesn’t leave near enough distance for those parked on the side to feel safe. Keeping those people safe, especially first responders who frequently park on the side of the road is why Move Over laws needed to be put in place.

The details of each vary by state but the gist is the same: if you see an emergency vehicle or flashing lights, you should immediately attempt to slow down and change lanes. This not only keeps you out of harm’s way but those parked on the side of the road.

Why Should Moving Over Be Important to You?

Outside of the simple fact that as a driver the law requires you to move over when you see an emergency vehicle or a vehicle with flashers on, moving over should be important to you because it increases everyone’s safety on the roads. Additionally, this small action can save hundreds of lives.

In an article on the U.S. Department of Transportation website, the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine L. Chao states:

“More than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed since 1997 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways.  In fact, traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers.

In 2017, 47 officers lost their lives in traffic-related incidents, with nine officers struck and killed outside their vehicles. Already in 2019, responder fatalities include 7 law enforcement officers.  

From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents. Many have been seriously injured. This is a tragedy and completely preventable.”

For other traffic safety tips and traffic control information, visit our blog!