Many people don’t know about it, or simply don’t observe it but in the state of Ohio, drivers are required to move over one lane or to slow down when approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle displaying flashing lights on all Ohio interstates and state highways.
The original Move Over Law was passed back in 1999 with the intention of protecting police officers and emergency responders. The law expanded in 2013 to apply to every stationary vehicle with flashing lights including road construction, maintenance, and utility crews.
And, police are serious about enforcement; you could be fined $300 for your first offense.
Across the US, hundreds of people are killed or injured every year when they’re struck by a vehicle after pulling over to the side of the road or highway. On average, these “struck-by” crashes kill one tow-truck driver every six days; 23 highway workers and one law-enforcement officer every month; and five firefighters every year.
Here in Mentor we’ve experienced tragedy firsthand when Officer Mat Mazany was struck on State Route 2 while assisting another Mentor Officer with a traffic stop earlier this summer.
Help avert another tragedy. If you see a vehicle on the side of the highway with lights flashing, move over and slow down.
It’s not only the law, you could be saving a life.