With summer travel season in full swing and more motorists taking to the highways, Kentucky State Police and troopers in five nearby states are collaborating on education and enforcement of the Move Over Law.
Passed in 2003, Kentucky law requires drivers to move to an adjacent lane when approaching a first responder or public safety vehicle. According to KRS 189.930, if it is impossible or unsafe to switch lanes, motorists should reduce speed and proceed with caution.
In fact, all 50 states and Washington, D.C., have a Move Over Law on the books. Failing to heed the laws can result in fines and serious criminal charges if someone is killed.
Aimed at protecting emergency responders working along the roadside, the 6-State Trooper Project campaign was started after officials saw an increase in the number of roadside line-of-duty fatalities.
So far this year, the Emergency Responder Safety Institute reports 26 first responders and public safety workers have been struck in the line of duty by vehicles nationwide. That number includes 12 law enforcement officers and 10 tow truck personnel.
Fortunately, none of those incidents occurred in the Bluegrass State, which is why the 6-State Trooper Project, a partnership of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky officers, is important. Troopers began high-visibility enforcement at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. The initiative will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.
We commend the six states involved in this effort to raise awareness and protect emergency responders working along America's highways.
In fact, traffic incidents are the No. 1 cause of law enforcement deaths. In a 10-year span from 2003-2013, 138 were struck and killed in the U.S., including 46 in 2013 alone, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
We urge drivers to remain vigilant on the roadway during this peak travel season. Move over and slow down for first responders and public safety workers so they can safely do their jobs.