The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging Americans to protect themselves this busy holiday travel season due to an increase in highway fatalities and injuries this time of the year. In addition to urging everyone to drive belted, sober, and focused, NHTSA is also encouraging people to become familiar with and obey the “Move Over” laws that require motorists to change lanes away from public safety vehicles on roadsides to help protect public safety personnel.
“Move Over” laws ensure that law enforcement officials have the space to work safely when they’re pulled over on the side of the road. Preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows that three law enforcement officers were struck and killed this year as a result of motorists not moving over. Over the past decade, being struck by a vehicle is the fourth leading cause of death of law enforcement officials.
This time of year is particularly poignant in observing move over laws. NHTSA recently launched its annual national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday crackdown on drunk drivers, and with thousands of law enforcement officials out protecting motorists from drunk drivers, NHTSA is asking motorists to return the favor and drive safely, sober, and to move over when they see law enforcement assisting motorists on the side of the road – the law in all 50 states.
Last December, 733 people died in drunk driving crashes. While on the road traveling this December, be aware that drunk driving crashes claim a victim who was not a drunk driver every two and a half hours. There were 10,076 alcohol-impaired crash fatalities in 2013, accounting for 31 percent of the overall fatalities.