June 1, 2014
June Is “Move Over Awareness Month” In Virginia
Working Together to Reduce Highway Fatalities by 15 Percent in 2014
RICHMOND – Beginning in 2014, and for each subsequent year in the Commonwealth, the month of June is now designated as “Move Over Awareness Month.” The recognition comes following Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 102 during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session. The declaration is intended to provide further support to Virginia’s public safety campaign aimed at increasing drivers’ awareness concerning the protection of public safety professionals and highway safety workers, to include safety service patrols on Virginia’s roads. To read the full text of the resolution, please visit http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+SJ102ER.
A new public service announcement (PSA) promoting the law, produced by the Virginia State Police in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation, is now available in both English and Spanish: http://www.youtube.com/user/vspvideos. State Police are also posting weekly on the Department’s Facebook page “Move Over” photos of sworn members with their families and colleagues.
Virginia’s Move Over law, established in 2002, requires drivers to either move over a lane or, when unable to, to cautiously pass all emergency personnel stopped on the side of a road. The law also applies to emergency response vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.
“As we continue to push forward with the Drive 2 Save Lives campaign, a key element to reducing traffic fatalities is also reducing the number of public safety professionals and highway workers injured or killed on the job,” said Colonel W. Steve Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Protect them by moving over.”
Tragically, two state troopers, with the New York State Police and Missouri Highway Patrol, were struck recently while on patrol. The Missouri Highway Patrol trooper did survive his injuries. 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.*
Every state in the nation has a Move Over law on record. Visit http://www.moveoverlaws.com to find out more about these laws. For more statistics about officer deaths, visit www.nleomf.com.
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*Source: Nat’l Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund www.nleomf.com