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Ohio's 'Move Over' law: In place to protect police and motorist lives

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Ohio's 'Move Over' law was designed with police officers, firefighters, road crews and others in mind.

The law simply states that when motorists encounter any vehicle on the side of the road with flashing lights, they should move over one lane or slow down if changing lanes is not possible.

The Move Over law could have been applicable on the rainy, Friday night Jan. 4 when  Colerain Township Police Officer Dale Woods, 46, was struck by a truck while responding to a crash in the 7600 block of Colerain Avenue - a five-lane road including the turn lane.

Monday, the veteran police officer remained hospitalized in critical condition. The crash is under investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department.

Hundreds of people are killed or injured each year in the United States when they're hit by a vehicle after pulling over to the side of the road or highway, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation website. 

"On average, these 'struck-by' crashes kill one tow-truck driver every six days; 23 highway workers, and one law enforcement officer every month; and five firefighters every year. Tragically, stranded motorists are also struck and killed," according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The Move Over law applies to all interstates and state highways and is enforceable by any law enforcement officer. Violators of the law can face fines of over $1,000.


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I believe there should be some dialogue to discuss why firefighters are doing a pretty good job at taking the lead in mitigating the risk on the roadside. Fiv edeaths is still five too many, but what are they doing that we are not?

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Simple, firefighters are trained , are able to actually close down a lane of traffic or divert it away from them, and have warning lights that are not used by every cable co. , tree trimmer or snow plower.

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