Editorial: Obey Ohio’s ‘Move over’ law to save lives

A recent editorial by the Youngstown Vindicator:

Though Ohio drivers already should be aware, state troopers in six states are working this week on reminding drivers we have a “Move over” law and it will be enforced.

In Ohio, the law says drivers must shift to an adjacent lane when approaching vehicles with flashing or rotating lights that are parked on the roadside. If moving over safely is not possible, drivers must slow down and proceed with caution.

Too many drivers ignore the law and continue to put emergency responders in danger by speeding past them in the near lane. That’s why this week law enforcement will be “highly visible” in enforcing the move over law. With the “6-State Trooper Project,” perhaps they will be able to hammer home the importance of obeying this law, though it is necessary to remember the consequences of breaking the law can be more than financial.

Between 2017 and 2021, Ohio State Highway Patrol cruisers were struck in 51 crashes that could have been avoided if drivers had just moved over. As a result of ignoring the law, two civilians were killed and there were 41 injuries to both officers and civilians.

During that time, the OSHP issued 26,000 citations for move over law violations.

Frankly, it’s an easy fix, folks. When you see a vehicle by the side of the road, particularly one that is an emergency vehicle or any vehicle with flashing lights, do what you can to safely move away from it or — at the very least — slow down measurably when passing.

“Moving over protects the lives of everyone who works or uses our roadways,” Col. Richard S. Fambro, OSHP superintendent, said. “Moving over isn’t just the law; it’s the right thing to do.”

— Youngstown Vindicator, July 20, 2022