State officials remind motorists to move over
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The newest edition of Tennessee’s Move Over Law has been in affect for one year on July 1. But officials say many people don’t obey this law, putting first responders, incident response workers and many others in danger.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol said more officers are injured or killed from cars not moving over than from being shot.
And with the heavy Fourth of July holiday traffic coming to our area over the next few days, officials want to remind drivers to stay alert so everyone can make it home alive.
It’s a fear every day — how a routine traffic stop could turn deadly, all because a passerby didn’t move over.
“It’s an every day problem, because we pull people over every day, we help motorists out, help change tires. You know, we’re always looking over our shoulder to make sure everybody’s, that you’re not going to get run over,” THP Sergeant Alan Bailey said.
But the danger is not limited to incident response units. Many stranded drivers don’t know what to do as cars and trucks zoom by at interstate speeds.
That’s why last year Tennessee expanded the state’s move over law to include any vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
“People just need to be aware that this law includes them all,” TDOT’s Jennifer Flynn said. “So they just need to think about what if it was your loved one on the side of the road. What would you do? Just behave like that.”
The law states that drivers must move over a lane when a vehicle is stopped on the side of the road – but only if it’s safe to do so. Otherwise, just slow down.
“That means you don’t go by them at 90 miles an hour, 80 miles an hour. Slow down to a safe speed in case something comes out in front of you, you can get that vehicle stopped,” Bailey said.
And with holiday traffic, you should be prepared to slow down.
“We know Fourth of July is a great holiday and people spend it with their families, and we just want to make sure that everyone gets to their families and gets back safely,” Flynn said.
TDOT has suspended all construction lane closures until Thursday to try to keep the traffic flowing, but they say the help trucks will be out patroling to help anyone who needs it during holiday travel.