Patrol asks motorists: Do you move over?

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is asking motorists to help keep their fellow drivers and law enforcement officers safe by following Ohio’s Move Over law.

A sergeant with the Chardon Post in Geauga County was struck by a vehicle last week during a traffic stop on U.S. Route 322 near Chardon, Ohio. Thankfully, his injuries were non-life threatening. But dash cam video and photos of the incident show the dangerous nature of these crashes.

All drivers should move over to an adjacent lane when approaching any vehicle with flashing or rotating lights parked on the roadside, according to Ohio law – specifically, ORC 4511.213. If moving over is not possible due to traffic or weather conditions, or because a second lane does not exist, motorists should slow down and proceed with caution.

Statistics from 2011 to 2015 indicate that factors like road conditions, impairment and location play a role in move over crashes in Ohio. Alcohol, drugs or a combination of both played a role in 28 percent of these crashes. Roads that are wet, snowy or icy accounted for 63 percent. And the vast majority of crashes – 79 percent – occurred on interstate, U.S. and state routes.

The dangers of move over crashes exist beyond Ohio. According to the FBI, from 2005 to 2014, 97 law enforcement officers across the United States were struck and killed by vehicles while working.

Troopers are serious about citing motorists who break this law; in fact, over 10,000 motorists received citations for violating the move over law from 2011 to 2015. It’s up to motorists to make the right decision to move over.

“By moving over, motorists are helping to protect the lives of everyone who works on our roadways or uses them to travel,” said Lt. Robert Sellers, OSHP Public Affairs Commander. “It’s not just the law. It’s the right thing to do.”

As always, the Patrol asks drivers to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.

Staff Report

Reach the Ohio State Highway Patrol at #677.