Albany -- State Troopers are stepping up their enforcement of Georgia's Move Over Law.
Enacted in 2003, the law says a driver must move over one lane when passing an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the highway, or slow down.
Troopers say many South Georgia drivers are not following the law, so they are cracking down. In 2005 nationally 15 officers were struck and killed by passing cars while working outside their patrol cars. South Georgia troopers say it happens too often. SFC Scott Woodell said "we've had some close calls just here in Albany. Luckily, luckily so far no one has been hurt."
Troopers say they do all they can to protect themselves and motorists stopped on the highway, but they say drivers need to follow the move over law. Woodell said "there is a risk at standing out there on the side of the road, trying to enforce these laws, when you got all these screaming bullets coming by you."
Troopers and other law enforcement agencies will start working in pairs on patrol, so the second officer can pull over drivers who fail to move over, or slow down. Woodell said "move over to the other lane, and if you can't move over into the other lane, you are supposed to slow down below the speed limit, below the speed limit, and be prepared to stop."
To try to prevent events like this, Troopers say they will step up the enforcement.
The Move Over Law can bring a fine of $500 for a first offense, and it does apply to all emergency vehicles like tow trucks or utility workers.