It is unfortunate to hear new reports of emergency responders suffering injuries as a result of a truck driver’s failure to abide by move over laws. This past month we told readers about the tragic collision that injured one and killed another emergency responder off of I-88 in Aurora, Illinois. Now, it is with sadness that we report to another story of a negligent driver whose recklessness injured a state trooper on duty.
According to reports by the Indy Star, a semi-truck crashed into the rear of an Indiana State Police Trooper’s car on I-865. Similarly to the I-88 accident, this officer was also pulled over to the side of the road assisting another driver. The crash pushed the officer’s car into the back of the motorist’s car. As a result of the collision, both the officer and the motorist suffered personal injuries to the neck and head. The semi-truck driver was ticketed for speeding in winter weather conditions and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
It is the law in all 50 states to yield to emergency vehicles that are stationary on the shoulders of the road. According to MoveOverLaws.com, after Hawaii adopted its move over law in 2012, every state had a program to protect officers and other emergency responders on our roads. These laws aim to protect our emergency workers who sacrifice their own safety to help others. These laws require drivers slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles or to pull over to the side of the road when an emergency vehicle is flashing its light to come through. The fact that every state in the union has adopted a “move over law” shows how important it is that drivers and law-makers work together to protect the lives of our emergency responders.
Not abiding by move over laws poses serious consequences for the livelihood and safety of our emergency responders. For instance, also according to MoveOverLaws.com, in 2005 alone 390 workers were struck and killed. These accidents are the major factor in law enforcement officer deaths.
Illinois too has a move over law, also known as “Scott’s Law,” which requires motorists to move over to the next lane where an emergency vehicle has stopped or pulled over to assist another driver. Having this law in place helps protect Illinois police officers, firefighters, and other emergency workers while they are on the job. Our attorneys urge all drivers to keep the safety and well-being of our emergency responders in mind at all times. If you, or an emergency responder in your family, have been injured due to a driver’s negligence and failure to abide by the move over law, you may be able to hold that person accountable for their wrongdoing. Call our firm today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to speak with you.