CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s state law for drivers to move over or slow down whenever there is an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol has zero tolerance for violations.
The Canfield Fair, with hundreds of thousands of people expected, is the perfect spot for Highway Patrol to talk about the Move Over and Slow Down law.
“We want to remind motorists when they see flashing lights…whether they’re red, blue or yellow, whatever the case might be, we want them to slow down and move over, or move over when they can’t slow down if the adjacent lane isn’t available,” Sgt. Vincent Shirey said.
At the fair, Highway Patrol is displaying Trooper Kenny Robbin’s police cruiser that was hit in July on Interstate 80.
“It was damaged front and rear, and it was simply because the driver didn’t slow down and try to move over,” Shirey said.
Robbins, who was investigating a crash on I-80, was walking back to the cruiser and saw a truck coming at him. His training kicked in, and he started running and pushed a tow truck driver away.
The impact of the crash was so intense that Robbins’ cruiser ended up hitting him. He is okay and back on the job.
“In northeast Ohio alone, we’re actually leading the state in this part with move over crashes,” Shirey said. “We’ve had Trooper Robbins recently, we had a sergeant from the Chardon Post who was involved in a crash.”
He says the move over law is meant to keep everyone who works on the road safe.
“We want people to realize that these troopers, these workers, they have families.”
Jenny Beil, of Canfield, has daughter that turns 16 soon. She’s setting an example for her by keeping her phone on silent when she’s driving.
“Everyone has that temptation to want to look at their phone. You look away for a second, you see other drivers, it’s terrifying,” Beil said.
Troopers are going to be out over the weekend enforcing the move over law, and Shirey says they have a zero tolerance policy. Drivers will be cited if they don’t move over. There will be increased penalties for repeat offenders.