Cops want drivers to move over for all cars on side of road - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cops want drivers to move over for all cars on side of road

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Georgia and national law enforcement groups celebrate a sharp decline in the number of law enforcement officers killed in traffic incidents.

In 2009 no Georgia law enforcement officers were killed by an automobiles while outside their own vehicles.  Officers credit the state's move over law.

Now they're asking South Georgia drivers to treat all cars on the side of the road like Police Cars, and slow down and move over.

Georgia and national law enforcement groups celebrate a sharp decline in the number of law enforcement officers killed in traffic incidents.

Traffic officers and troopers admit they are horrified that already in 2010 four people have been struck and killed by cars in Dougherty County roadways. Veteran traffic enforcement officers and troopers say drivers are finally starting to learn and understand Georgia's Move Over Law when they see Police Car's blue lights. But they say most motorists don't show the same courtesy to all cars pulled over at the side of a roadway.

Dougherty County Police Lt. Thomas Jackson said "Unfortunately that costs people their lives, when you don't take the common courtesy to think, hey, there is someone broken down. Maybe I need to slow down. Maybe I need to move over."

Move Over Laws nationally are being credited with saving Officers lives. In 2008 nationally 18 officers were killed working traffic stops. In 2009 that number fell to 12. Troopers say a 500 dollar fine for violators has many Georgians moving over, but they still see motorists who don't know the law.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper Sgt. Shawn Urquhart said "Because I have stopped a couple of people that didn't move over, and the first thing out their mouth is that they didn't know they were supposed to move over."

State law says motorists are to slow down and move one lane over when they see emergency vehicles flashing lights. But now officers say you can save more lives if you practice that for all cars.

Jackson said "When we see someone on the side of the road, we need to move over to the other lane. Or at least go around them, slow down, whatever. Cause you never know at what point that person may step out."

Traffic related incidents are the leading cause of officer fatalities nationwide for the 12th year in a row. Georgia's Move Over Law is credited with making state roads safer for Cops.  Now they want drivers to use the same rules to make them safer for all people on the side of roadways.

In 2009 Georgia law enforcers gave tickets to more than 35-hundred Move Over Law violators.

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