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Move over, slow down for emergency vehicles PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, January 28, 2013 9:12 PM

The Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are encouraging Hoosiers to keep in mind the safety of all first responder- law enforcement, emergency medical services and firefighters - who are making their way to the scene of an emergency.

In order to allow safe passage on the roadways for emergency vehicles, other motorists must be vigilant and adhere to Indiana’s Move Over Law.

“Indiana’s Move Over Law not only protects emergency personnel, but allows them to focus on the task at hand, which may be saving a life,” said IDHS Chief of Staff Mike Garvey, an EMS professional. The agency oversees the certification of EMS personnel and ambulance services.

This law requires drivers to change lanes for specified emergency vehicles stopped on two or four lane roadways with emergency lights flashing. This includes police cars, ambulances, fire and rescue trucks, highway response vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles, utility service vehicles and tow trucks. If the driver cannot change lanes safely, they are required to reduce their speed to 10 mph slower than the posted speed limit and proceed with caution. Drivers should not stop in the roadway, as this may cause a collision with other vehicles.

“Violating the Move Over Law can result in a fine and your license may be suspended up to 2 years if you cause damage to emergency equipment, injury or death to an emergency worker,” said Capt. Dave Bursten with Indiana State Police.

 In addition to the Move Over Law, motorists should yield the right of way to emergency vehicles that have emergency lights flashing by slowing down and pulling over to the right side of the road if it is safe to do so. Drivers should also give emergency vehicles plenty of room on the road because they may need to stop quickly.

“Fire trucks with large fire apparatus make it difficult for firefighters to see other vehicles that are directly behind them,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Drivers should stay back a safe distance, and be aware that the truck may come to a sudden halt.”

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.