Messages aimed at protecting all drivers on the roadside.
PRESS RELEASE – AAA has long been an advocate for “Move Over” laws, requiring drivers to slow down and move over for emergency responders on the roadside, yet there continues to be an alarming number of fatalities. Ahead of the unofficial Move Over Day*, Saturday, Oct. 15, AAA is launching a new campaign urging drivers to “Move Over for Me.”
Nationwide, AAA tow operators respond to more than 30 million calls for help each year, many times working on roadside shoulders that are no wider than four feet. Due to these dangerous conditions, one tow truck driver is killed on the job every other week. Hundreds more are injured while attending to disabled vehicles.
While all 50 states, including Ohio, have a Move Over law to protect emergency responders, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that nearly a quarter of people are unaware of these laws. Others seem to simply ignore these laws.
AAA’s new campaign includes a video of tow truck drivers responding to real tweets regarding the Move Over law. The video can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/755276427/3ddc48ceb8.
AAA has also partnered with the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Turnpike on a campaign aimed at reminding drivers to move over and slow down for any vehicle with flashing lights parked on the roadside. Campaign materials are available for download at http://www.moveover.ohio.gov/.
According to a crash analysis from ODOT, 639 crashes have occurred so far in 2022 when drivers failed to move over or slow down for a stationary vehicle with flashing lights. This has caused 29 deaths and 86 serious injuries. Between 2015 and 2021, a total of 6,477 move over-related crashes occurred in Ohio.
Those who do not comply with Ohio’s Move Over Law are subject to charges and fines. The law is strictly enforced. In fact, in 2020, the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued 7,829 citations for those failing to move over or slow down.
While Ohio’s Move Over law applies to all vehicles with flashing or rotating lights, drivers should also be mindful of stranded motorists. Across the country, AAA is working to broaden Move Over educational efforts with its new “Move Over for Me” campaign that asks drivers to move over for all motorists stuck on the roadside as well as first responders.
“For years, Move Over, Slow Down efforts have focused on emergency responders, and it’s critical that we continue to protect these individuals who come to the aid of motorists,” said Brian Rex, director of emergency road services for AAA Ohio Auto Club. “But as motorists get flat tires, break down, run out of gas, or find themselves otherwise in trouble at the roadside, they also face the dangerous elements of high-speed traffic and need the same protection.”
A new analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows more than 1,700 people were killed while outside of a disabled vehicle between 2016 and 2020.
This year, AAA is also working with the Towing and Recovery Association of America to introduce a federal resolution for a National Move Over Law Day. A national day is one more way to remind drivers of the importance of paying attention, moving over and slowing down when they see others at the side of the road working or stranded with a disabled vehicle.
Tips For Drivers:
- Remain alert. Avoid distractions and focus on driving.
- Keep an eye out for emergency vehicles – including tow trucks – that have their lights on as well as cars that have their flashers on. Move over one lane when you see them, and if you can’t move over, slow down to safely pass them.
- Be a good passenger. Help identify roadway issues and remind the driver to move over and slow down.
- Watch for people on the roadside. People may be in or near a disabled vehicle. Just because you don’t immediately see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Tips for Stranded Motorists:
- Pull as far over on the shoulder as safely possible to create more distance between your vehicle and passing traffic.
- Turn your hazard lights on so other drivers are aware you are there.
- If you are able to safely make it to the next exit or stopping point, do so.
- Call for assistance via phone, website or the AAA Mobile app.
- Remain with your vehicle as long as it’s safe to do so.
- If getting out of your vehicle, watch the oncoming traffic for a good time to exit, and remain alert and close to your vehicle. Avoid turning your back to traffic whenever possible.
AAA provides more than 63 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.
* The “unofficial” Move Over Day on October 15, is a day designated by the Arizona Tow Association to rally support behind raising awareness of Slow Down Move Over.
Media Contact: Kimberly Schwind, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Resources: Audio Interview