Transportation officials again urging drivers to keep an eye out for emergency responders on the roads.
Weather-related traffic crashes and slide-offs are keeping emergency responders busy this winter. Wisconsin State Patrol Inspector Tom Tweedy says when you approach emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road with their warning lights on, motorists need move over, or at least slow down.
“Well when you see an emergency vehicle stopped along the side of the highway with the warning lights on, it should really trigger an automatic response,” he says. “The state’s Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down or shift lanes if possible when they are coming upon emergency responders.” Tweedy explains, “These emergency responders include ambulances, tow trucks, fire trucks, law enforcement and highway maintenance vehicles.”
The law helps provide a safety zone for those who often work just feet from moving traffic, Tweedy says. Last year, 10 State Patrol cruisers stopped along Wisconsin roads were struck by other vehicles.
“Well, when we stop someone for a traffic violation or to deal with a crash or stranded motorist, we’ve often got moving traffic just a few feet away,” he says. “This winter, we’ve seen a fair amount of weather-related slide-offs and crashes of course, so we’re just reminding people about the Move Over Law. And if you see emergency vehicles stopped along the road with warning lights on, it really means that drivers need to shift over a lane if possible and at the very least – slow down.”
Violating the Move Over Law can result in a $263 fine and assessment of three demerit points.