January 30, 2014
New Year, New Look for "Move Over" Bumper Decal
Virginia State Police Association Finances Decal Make-Over
RICHMOND, Va. – What displays the colors blue and gray, sticks to the back of your vehicle and intends to remind drivers of a decade-long law to protect first responders and highway safety workers? If you guessed Virginia’s “Move Over” bumper decal, you are right. With $3,500 in funding provided by the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA), the sticker underwent a recent transformation and emerged with a fresh, new look in the continual efforts to promote this life-saving law.
“This effort shows the commitment our membership has to call attention to and support this public awareness campaign,” says Colonel Wayne Huggins, Executive Director for the Virginia State Police Association. “Bumper stickers placed on the back of a vehicle are a great way to publicize the law, advocate for the safety of our first responders and educate drivers at the same time.”
Over the next month, the updated “Move Over” bumper sticker will slowly replace the original red and white decal currently seen on Virginia’s more than 1,400 state police patrol cars. Virginia’s “Move Over” law requires drivers to change to another travel lane away from emergency personnel or, when not able to, cautiously pass first responders stopped on the side of the road. The law also applies to highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.
“We welcome and appreciate any and all ways to promote the ‘Move Over’ law,” says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Whether the effort is statewide or localized - from highway signs, to brochures to bumper stickers no promotional effort is too small when it comes to protecting those employees who work the road to serve the people of our Commonwealth.
Since 2003, 138 on-duty law enforcement officers have been struck and killed on the nation’s highways.* With the state of Hawaii passing a law in 2012, every state in the nation has a Move Over law on record. Visit http://www.moveoverlaws.com to find out more about these laws.
- Virginia General Assembly established “Move Over” law in 2002.
- In 2010, the law was amended to include highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.
- A first conviction for violating Virginia’s “Move Over” law is a traffic infraction and is punishable up to a $250 fine.
- VDOT posted 33 “Move Over” signs on all Virginia Interstates in 2012
- In 2012-2013, 19 Virginia State Police troopers were struck while working inside or outside their patrol vehicles.
- In 2013 nationwide, traffic-related fatalities were the leading cause of law enforcement line of duty deaths. Of the 46 officers killed due to a traffic-related fatality, eleven were struck and killed outside their vehicles, according to preliminary data. (Source: Nat’l Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund www.nleomf.com)
- From 2003 to 2012 nationwide, FBI reports 102 law enforcement professionals, while conducting traffic stops, roadblocks, directing traffic, assisting motorists, etc., have been struck by vehicles. (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports http://www.fbi.gov)
For more information regarding the Move Over law, brochures and public service announcements, visit http://www.vsp.virginia.gov.
About VSPA - Established in 1974, the Virginia State Police Association supports its members through scholarships, retirement grants and emergency relief funds as well as the Department of State Police, school and community programs across the Commonwealth. The association has more than 2,000 members. For more information, visit www.vspa.org.