11-08-21 Motorists Reminded to Move Over During Crash Responder Safety Week

Hawai‘i Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Torey D. Keltner
Program Manager
Phone: (808) 961-2305

Media Release

Every day across Hawai‘i and the mainland U.S., distracted and uninformed drivers pose a major threat to the safety and wellbeing of first responders who risk their own lives on roads and highways to assist those involved in traffic incidents.

As part of national Crash Responder Safety Week, which runs November 8 to 14, 2021, the Hawai‘i Police Department is reminding all drivers to slow down and move over when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped for an emergency or other official duty.

A first responder’s emergency flashing lights are not a suggestion or recommendation, they are flashing to warn drivers that a situation is hazardous and potentially dangerous.

Moving over for a first responder vehicle is not only the safe thing to do, it’s also the law. The Move Over Law, 291C-27, was enacted to help protect first responders while they are performing their duties near or on a roadway. The Move Over Law requires motorists to slow down to a prudent speed, or if safe, make a lane change into the adjacent lane of travel when approaching an emergency vehicle with its emergency lights flashing.

Speeding closely past a stopped emergency vehicle creates a senseless risk to the emergency services personnel that are far too often injured or killed by passing vehicles. 

Every year across the country, an estimated average of 12 law enforcement officers, five firefighters, and more than 60 employees of state departments of transportation are struck and killed while working roadway incidents. The number of near misses and injuries is far higher, but unknown.

Officers are out in full force and you will see many of them making traffic stops for things like speeding, seat belt, distracted driving, and DUI enforcement. The Move Over Law is important all year round, and especially so during Crash Responder Safety Week and the upcoming holiday season. Please slow down when you see an emergency vehicle and move over if it’s safe to do so. You just might need their help to keep you and your family safe someday.

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