NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The video will make you do a double take. Cars zipping by workers along the side of the road. Too close for comfort at times. The images are from AAA’s latest public service announcement. The message is urging Connecticut drivers to move over.
“I think the driving public really needs to make a conscious effort to comply with this law,” said Fran Mayko, spokesperson for AAA Northeast.
We’re talking about the Move Over law. It’s been on the books in Connecticut since 2009.
“It’s still those out there that don’t know the move over law is out there, they don’t understand it or they are not obeying it,” said Connecticut State Trooper Kelly Grant.
The explanation is simple — give first responders and work crews the safe space they need to do their job.
“When you see those vehicles stopped on the highway with their emergency lights activated you are required to reduce your speed below the posted speed limit and move over at least one lane if you are able to do so,” said Grant.
Some people argue that they aren’t always able to move over because cars are in the lane next to them. If that’s the case police say at the very least slow down.
In recent months there have been numerous crashes across the state. Many of them involving state troopers. People not paying attention to the move over law, ramming right into their cruisers.
“You know you have to remember the highway is their office,” Grant tells News 8.
In June there was a serious crash along I-95 in Fairfield. A box truck slammed into a car and AAA vehicles as crews were helping a driver. Those employees were both badly hurt. That prompted AAA to put out the national PSA. As well as one locally.
“So you can imagine how emergency responders, whether they be police, fire, EMT, DOT workers, tow truck drivers, how they feel when they are helping distressed motorists on the side of the road,” said Mayko.
If you fail to move over or slow down and cause a crash you could face a large fine that will cost you thousands of dollars.
“They really need to understand that these people are out ding their job and it’s a dangerous job,” adds Mayko.