Law Enforcement: "Move Over" for Emergency Vehicles


By Brittany Bivins

An Alabama state trooper is recovering after being hit by a vehicle in Crenshaw County. Law enforcement officers say working on the roads is one of the most dangerous parts of the job.

However, there are laws in place designed to protect emergency workers. One of the most widespread is the Move Over Law.

The Alabama legislature passed it in 2006, and more than 40 other states have similar laws. The law says you must move over for law enforcement or emergency vehicles any time you see flashing lights.

On Thursday night, a vehicle struck a state trooper directing traffic on Highway 29 in Crenshaw County. He is expected to make a full recovery. But vehicles not obeying the move over law is still a problem. A 2013 Alabama News Network investigation showed just how many vehicles won't move over, even when an officer is on the roadside.

"When they see flashing emergency lights, there's likely a hazard up ahead, and be very careful. Expect the unexpected, slow down, and pay attention," said Sgt. Steve Jarrett.

The law doesn't just apply to state troopers, but all law enforcement and emergency vehicles.

"Just a car stopped by itself is dangerous enough, because you never know what you're walking up to," said Mark Thompson, Prattville Police Chief. "With them having to worry about what they're fixing to encounter at the car, they still have to worry about the backs, if people are going to move over, if they're going to get hit by the vehicle," he said.

State troopers say the injured trooper in Crenshaw County has been released from the hospital-and is recovering at home. They're still investigating that crash.