Please, move over
The Colorado Department of Transportation and other agencies this week launched a new highway-safety effort. The idea is to focus, or re-focus, attention on the state’s “move over” laws.
Those laws require motorists to slow down, change lanes or pull over for emergency vehicles. You’d think this would be common sense, but apparently it’s not.
Two Colorado State Patrol troopers were killed in just more than a year on the stretch of Interstate 25 between Castle Rock and Monument. In both cases, drivers didn’t move into the left lane when the officers working on the highway shoulder were struck and killed.
Area fire departments have also been hurt by motorists not changing lanes. Thankfully, no one has been seriously injured in those incidents, but one incident a few years ago so seriously damaged an Eagle River Fire Protection District truck that the vehicle was knocked out of service for months.
Too many people also don’t seem to understand the need to yield to emergency vehicles.
On a recent Saturday morning in Gypsum, a pair of State Patrol cars were running westbound on U.S. Highway 6 with their lights and sirens. Of three eastbound vehicles in a short stretch of road, two pulled over, as they should. The third driver kept driving, even as the State Patrol cars zipped by — and if you see two police cars headed somewhere at the same time, something urgent is happening.
People who work for emergency-service agencies put in long hours, often in harsh conditions. These people know they’re possibly putting their own lives at risk every time they’re called to a scene.
We all want to get where we’re going. Moving over, pulling over or at least slowing down for emergency vehicles doesn’t take much time. It could also save lives, not only at that scene, but in the future.
Please, help these people help us. You might be the next person who needs assistance.