Following the news about a state trooper that was hit alongside Interstate 65 in Bullitt County in September 2013, the Kentucky Move Over Law is receiving public attention. Trooper Sam Shacklette suffered from non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital. The state police reported that Shacklette was stable, although several of his bones were broken.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, over 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have died since 1999 after being hit by vehicles along the highways. These incidents inspired the beginning of the partnership known as “Move Over, America” in 2007. To reduce the number of deaths, the National Safety Commission, the National Sheriffs' Association and the National Association of Police Organizations are working together to educate people on how they can protect officers who are risking their lives to help others. Not long after, the American Association of State Troopers also gave their full support toward this campaign. In 2014, 43 states had Move Over Laws passed.
The Move Over Law
It's been over a decade since Kentucky’s Move Over Law went into effect in June 2003. Despite that, there are still people who aren’t aware of this law. So, what does the Move Over Law mean? What happens if you don't follow it? The Move Over Law means that drivers will have to yield to emergency vehicles operating on the side of the road. For example, if you see an ambulance parked with their lights on and flashing, then you will need to move over to the other lane or slow down. When you are safely around the emergency vehicle, you may return back to the lane you were originally in. If you violate this law, you may have to pay fines ranging from $60 - $500 or spend up to 30 days in prison.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I support the Move Over Law. Officers need our help so they can do their jobs effectively and safely. We shouldn't wait for a terrible accident to happen before we realize this. So, next time you see an emergency vehicle on the shoulder of a highway, make sure to get into the other lane or slow down until you have safely passed by them.