SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Every year, first responders across the country are injured or killed while helping drivers on the side of the road. We saw this first hand last week in Massachusetts,when State Trooper Thomas Clardy was struck and killed during a traffic stop.
To prevent tragedies like last week’s, Massachusetts has what’s known as a ‘Move Over’ law, which has been in place since 2009. The law aims to keep police officers, emergency responders, and maintenance workers safe, by requiring drivers to slow down, and move to the farthest lane possible, if it’s safe to do so, whenever they see an emergency vehicle pulled over on the side of the road.
On Tuesday, 22News rode along with Red’s Towing in Holyoke. They parked in the break-down lane, with their red lights flashing, which means drivers were supposed to move over. Our 22News cameras captured the majority of drivers not slowing down, or moving over for them.
Ben Scott of Red’s Towing told 22News, while the law’s good in theory, many people don’t follow it. “It’s scary; I’ve jumped the guard rail many times thinking I was about to get hit. It happens far too often, I believe a tow truck driver is killed every 6 days in the United States. It’s something that really, the public needs to get educated about, because this is our office here on the side of the road.”
Drivers who don’t obey the move over law could get slapped with a $100 fine. Click Here for more information on the law.