Monday, March 16, 2009

Move Over In MA on March 22

Story from the Daily News Transcript:

The Dedham Police, Fire Department, and Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Warn Drivers to “Move Over.” In an effort to keep Massachusetts roadways safer, the Dedham Police Department, Fire Department, and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) are raising awareness for the state’s new Move Over Law in order to promote safe driving across the commonwealth.

Every year, first responders across the country are injured or killed while providing emergency roadside help. In the past six months alone, several Massachusetts state troopers have been injured on the job. According to the Merit Rating Board, in 2008, there were nearly 2,000 violations of the Chapter 89 law which deals with obstructing emergency vehicles including failure to yield and following too closely.

The new law, which takes effect on March 22, is meant to help protect police, firefighters, paramedics, tow truck drivers, and all roadside emergency and maintenance workers. The law requires all drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane if it is safe to do so, and, barring that, to reduce their speed. Violating the Move Over Law can be expensive as well as dangerous, as failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $100.

The Dedham Police and Fire Departments ask that all drivers within Dedham and across Massachusetts take a moment to slow down and move over if they see an officer, firefighter, paramedic, EMT, and/or other emergency responder or maintenance worker stopped on the side of the road. Together we can make the roadways of Massachusetts safer and less stressful for everyone involved.

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