Move Over Laws Aren't Enough To Keep Responders Safe At The Roadside


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Move Over Laws Aren't Enough To Keep Responders Safe At The Roadside

Submitted by Bill Degnan on Fri, 02/07/2020 - 17:01

Sure, it's the law that you have to move over (and/or slow down) when emergency vehicles are stopped at the roadside. But lives are still being lost while we're trying to save others.

There ought to be a law. And there are. Plenty of them. But why is that not enough?

Move Over
Source: NHTSA

It is necessary to manage the scene to make it safer. I have written about Managing Scene Lighting For Safety↗️to avoid blinding motorists or confusing them. But, that's only a part of it.

Advance warning isn't enough sometimes as distracted or impaired drivers can run into the warning vehicles or even the blocking vehicles that protect the work area.

Do we need in-vehicle warnings that an emergency scene is ahead? Does it need interface with things like adaptive cruise control?

Do we need to educate more drivers? Or find a way to make believers of them?

What's clear to me is that when you're driving that should be your first priority.

Communities should indeed have a traffic incident management body - where stakeholders from responder agencies have a seat at the table. The members should have the authority to bind their agencies to a plan of action and at the same time be open two new and safer ways of doing things.

A clear understanding of who's scene it is should filter down to all involved. All too often, agencies on scene are not playing the same sheet of music and don't have the same goals.

This is an issue that requires leadership.

This article which appeared in EMS1 has some of the answers. ↗️