Georgia’s Move Over Law being Ignored

| August 7, 2015

traffic jam

ATLANTA — Despite public service messages and highway alert boards, authorities say many drivers still aren’t following Georgia’s “move over” law.

Early Saturday, a HERO officer was struck by a vehicle on Interstate 75. Police say Moses King was struck by an alleged drunk driver as he set road flares out after another accident.

In July 2014, a tow truck driver was struck and killed. Later that same month, a Sandy Springs police officer was injured.

Georgia passed its “move over” law back in 2003 after similar officer deaths nationwide. The law says drivers must move over for emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Still, some drivers don’t heed its message, officers said.

“It’s a daily basis, I’m out on the side of the road working a crash, and I can feel the wind on me from a car because somebody didn’t move over,” said Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Kevin Pope.

WXIA reports a Georgia State Patrol trooper pulled over on the side of the road to gauge how many motorists would follow the law. They reported it was easier to count the number of people who moved over than those who didn’t. In nearly 10 minutes, only two drivers were spotted obeying the law, according to the story.

Sgt. Pope told WXIA that it’s difficult for officers to enforce the law.

“A lot of times we’re already working a crash when we see it, so it’s tough to kind of stop what you’re doing to go enforce it,” Pope said.

Sgt. Pope says even when traffic is not moving at full speed, drivers are required by law to still move over if they can safely do so.

State law caps fines at $500, but court fees can make offending drivers pay much more.

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