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Oregon Drivers Reminded to “Move Over” for Emergency Vehicles Stopped on the Roadside
03/24/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
 
Steve Vitolo
ODOT Transportation Safety Division
Office: (503) 986-4446

Reminders to motorists on Oregon roadways are becoming more visible in order to help keep emergency personnel working on the side of the road safer. As part of an ongoing public awareness campaign, police are stepping up enforcement of the four-year-old state law.  Additionally, the statewide campaign includes new state highway signs, billboards, radio advertisements, transit bus signs, rest area posters and brochures promoting the “Move Over” safety message.
 
“Police, Fire, EMS and other emergency personnel put their lives on the line every day to deliver often life-saving care to travelers,” said Steve Vitolo, ODOT Safety Division’s Statewide Law Enforcement and Judicial Program manager. “Helping to ensure they make it home safely at the end of their shift is the goal of this stepped up campaign.”
 
Oregon’s Move Over law has been in effect for more than four years, yet every year, emergency personnel are struck by errant drivers.
 
“We are trying to provide as many people as possible with multiple opportunities to learn about Oregon’s law in order to get 100% compliance,” Vitolo said. “The public’s help is paramount to protecting those we depend on to protect us.”
 
The Move Over law (ORS 811.147) states that if you are driving up behind or next to any type of emergency vehicle — police car, ambulance or public safety vehicle — working on the roadside with emergency lights flashing, you must:
  • Move over to another lane.
  • If you cannot safely change lanes, you must slow down.
  • In all cases, the driver must try to provide as much room as possible for the emergency vehicle.
 
According to national statistics, a record number of traffic incidents are occurring, as more than 700 officers have been killed in the last 10 years when struck while working on the side of the highway.
 
Failure to comply with the Move Over law can result in a fine of up to $355.