“Move Over, Slow Down” saves lives
You’ve seen the signs along Iowa’s roadways reminding us to move over, slow down and drive attentively when passing emergency and rescue vehicles at the side of the road. Unfortunately, not all drivers heed these warnings.
The deaths last year of an Iowa firefighter, tow truck operators and others responding to emergencies are painful reminders of the risks workers face on our roadways. Iowa’s Hanifen Towing lost two tow truck drivers in a single accident on I-80 on September 13 and decided to use the tragedy to make Iowa roads safer for us all.
Hanifen Towing spearheaded an effort to collect more than 3,000 signatures from law enforcement, fire and rescue workers, towers and trucking industry employees from across the state. Their effort was effective. On March 6, the Senate unanimously approved Senate File 2257, which will toughen Iowa’s “Move Over, Slow Down” law.
Currently, drivers must move over and slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck or maintenance vehicle displaying flashing lights. SF 2257 specifies that if it isn’t possible to move over, a driver must reduce speed to at least 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop.
The bill also stiffens penalties for those who fail to move over and slow down. License suspension is mandatory if a violation causes damage to the property of another person, bodily injury to another person or death. The suspensions and any fines imposed by the courts would be in addition to other penalties applicable under law.
When we’re out on the road, we’re often rushing to meet our job and family responsibilities. Let’s all slow down and be careful.
Give firefighters, police officers, EMTs, tow-truck drivers and other emergency workers plenty of room to do their job. After all, they are working to save our lives. Let’s not put their lives at riskPosted Mar. 8th, 2012 at 5:54 pm by Senate Intern
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