MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — After an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency trooper was seriously injured in a wreck on I-65, ALEA is reminding drivers about the importance of the Move Over Law.
ALEA said that a state trooper stopped to help a disabled commercial vehicle Monday afternoon when a third vehicle hit the state trooper’s car, forcing it to hit the commercial vehicle. The trooper sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was rushed to Huntsville Hospital.
As of Wednesday, that state trooper is still in the hospital recovering.
“In the last couple days, we’ve seen a lot of officers that lives were changed or impacted by people just failing not to move over and not being attentive,” said Senior Trooper Brandon Bailey with ALEA.
He says not only are drivers not switching lanes or slowing down but they’re also distracted, either by what’s going on on the side of the road or by their phones.
“Of course, now we have the issue of cell phones,” said Sr. Trooper Bailey. “People using cell phones and text messages so it’s a lot of other things that go in midst of people not just simply moving over, they might just be distracted.”
That distraction can result in serious injury or death.
The ‘Move Over Law’ requires drivers to change lanes if emergency vehicles, including law enforcement, are on the roadside. If a driver is unable to move over, they are required to slow down to at least 15 miles per hour below the speed limit.
Bailey says the number one cause of death for on-duty officers is from vehicle wrecks, and that’s why Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says the ‘Move Over Law’ is crucial.
“The Move Over Law is critically important for law enforcement safety,” said Marshall. “Not only did we have one, but I think we actually had two instances that took place in North Alabama where officers were harmed just simply doing their jobs.”
Marshall says failing to follow the law puts everyone on the road at risk.
“I would encourage our legislature to fully examine the injuries that have taken place and do everything that we can to protect officer safety,” he added.
Sr. Trooper Bailey, along with the rest of ALEA, is pleading with drivers to abide by the law. It could save a life.
Learn more about Alabama’s Mover Over Law on ALEA’s website.