A sergeant with the Conyers Police Department is reminding drivers of the state’s “Move Over” law after an officer from that department was nearly struck by a speeding vehicle while conducting a recent traffic stop. According to a report from Fox 5, the vehicle came so close to the officer that it startled him and he had to go back to his car to compose himself. The Georgia Move Over Law requires drivers to move over one lane if possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the side of the roadway. If traffic is too heavy to safely allow the driver to move over, the driver is required to slow down to below the speed limit and be prepared to stop. Violating this law could result in a $500 fine. Additionally, drivers who injure emergency workers on the side of the road can face civil liability for their actions.
The FBI statistics show that traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death or injury in the line of duty for police officers, Fox 5 notes, and according to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, more than 40 emergency responders are killed in a year’s time as a result of being struck by vehicles while offering assistance or conducting a traffic stop on the side of the road. Police officers are most commonly the victim of this type of accident, though it can also result in deaths or injuries of tow truck drivers and fire or EMS personnel. The institute also states that in addition to dozens of roadside fatalities, many more emergency workers are seriously injured due to struck-by accidents, and often those injuries are career-ending or disabling, such as traumatic amputations, head trauma, and damage to the spinal cord, vertebrae, or discs.
If you are an emergency worker who was injured in an accident while pulled over on the side of the road, an experienced attorney from Cambre & Associates can help you understand your legal options for seeking compensation for the costs and impacts of your injury. Contact us for a free case evaluation.