First responders are reminding motorists that it’s Crash Responder Safety Week and urging the public to drive with extra care around traffic accidents to help protect firefighters and paramedics.
Safety experts say that nearly one first responder is killed every week in America and are working to raise awareness of first responder safety issues.
“Firefighters and other emergency responders are on our highways to serve the public and keep us all safe, and they deserve to go home to their families unharmed,” said Edward Kelly, President of the International Association of Firefighters. “With this Crash Responder Safety Week let us all commit to a safer work environment for our firefighters and travelers.”
Crash Responder Safety
The Federal Highway Administration works with national partners, states, and local responders to reduce the number of traffic incident responders injured or killed in the line of duty during Crash Responder Safety Week.
Failure to yield to first responders and other official vehicles on the side of the road results in more than 200 annual car accidents in Florida. More than 16,000 tickets are issued statewide to drivers who violate Florida’s Move Over law. Police in Orange County alone issue hundreds of “Move Over” tickets every year. The law requires drivers to move over a lane when emergency and law enforcement vehicles stopped on the side of the road. If a driver is unable to move over, the law mandates them to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit. Service vehicles such as tow trucks, garbage trucks, and Road Rangers are also covered by the law.
In addition to being reckless, failing to yield to police and other roadside personnel can cost you. The fine can be up to $161 and you will receive three points on your license. As a result, insurance costs rise and driving becomes prohibitively expensive.
“Moving over and slowing down for emergency and service vehicles is law in Florida; but by doing so, drivers are also displaying a nod of support to the men and women who call the road their office,” said FLHSMV Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes. “Crashes that occur because of a driver that failed to move over are completely preventable; they take our officers and members of our communities away from their families, who gave freely to make Florida a safer place to live and travel. As you head to your destinations this year, remember these four words if you see flashing lights: slow down, move over.”
Disregarding crash responder safety is the kind of negligent and careless driving behavior that causes accidents. If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to get compensation. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation with an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.