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First responders, AAA team up to promote 'Move Over' law

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 18:19:49-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is about six weeks away.

Of course, that means we're likely to see plenty of traffic leading up to the holiday.

You might also see more first responders on the side of the road handling crashes or writing tickets. What do you do when you see a police cruiser, ambulance, or fire truck on the shoulder?

"The percentage of people that I pull over for not moving over, that will say I had no idea that was a law," says Lt. Chris Van Brackel with the Lexington Police Department.

It's not even a new law in Kentucky. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's a law in all 50 states.

"The first step is move over," Van Brackel says.

It's also clearly outlined in the General Assembly. If an emergency or public safety vehicle has flashing yellow, red, red and white, red and blue or blue lights, you need to move over.

"If you cannot move over, then you have to slow down," Van Brackel says. "And frequently people will stay right in the right-hand lane when they could move over and say well I slowed down by two miles an hour."

It isn't just for first responders. This can also include tow trucks or utility trucks.

"There's more of a fear of getting in trouble with the police, but the fear with tow trucks should be the fear of killing someone," says Seth Pierce with AAA.

Pierce says his tow truck drivers have had some close calls. A new AAA survey shows more than 90% of first responders polled say they've had at least one near-miss or felt threatened.

"We've had drivers have to jump up on the hood of a car before," Pierce says.

"I've had a couple times on the shoulder where I looked and saw somebody and actually jumped out of the way because I was afraid they were so close I might get hit," says Van Brackel.

"Every person out there on the side of the road is somebody's son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister."