Fatal accident urges troopers to speak out about ‘Move Over Law’

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It is not just a courtesy, it is the law.

Any driver approaching an emergency vehicle signaling flashing lights should do what he or she can do move over. The West Virginia Move Over Law states: ‘to proceed due caution and yield the right of way by making a lane change before reaching the emergency vehicle.’

This is for the safety and security of first responders, highway maintenance, and patrolmen. Trapper Van Allen’s son is a firefighter. He said this is more than a personal matter. 

“What if it was one of your family members? Give respect like you’d give to anybody else, as they would yours,” Allen said.

When moving over, it is important to do it safely and if a driver cannot, West Virginia state troopers told 59 News the best thing to do is to slow down;reduce the speed to 15 miles per hour on any non-divided highway or street, and 25 miles per hour on any divided highway depending on road conditions.

According to WV State Trooper with the Hinton detachment, Sgt. B.A. Wood, it is important to pay attention to surroundings.

“Some of the worst things have happened, accidents have happened and ultimately we have to take great care and caution when any individual, especially law enforcement, fire department and first responders are road side trying to help conduct their investigations,” Wood said.

Failure to follow the Move Over Law could lead to serious legal consequences. One can be guilty of a misdemeanor, fined more than five hundred dollars, or confined in county or regional jail.

To read more about the Move Over Law, visit: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/wvcode/chapterentire.cfm?.chap=17c&art=7.

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