The familiar sight of a police trooper on the Massachusetts Turnpike is an image most commuters can readily draw to mind. Lights that are nearly blinding are flashing throughout the highway while an officer’s car is parked as far away from the stream of traffic as possible. This sight causes most drivers to reduce their speed and make an effort to get further away from the parked patrol car. Most drivers take these actions out of courtesy to the officers and concern for their safety. When drivers do not attempt to slow down and get out of the way, tragedy can strike.
“Move Over” legislation in Massachusetts
About six years ago lawmakers began to recognize the serious danger each officer faces while making a traffic stop on the highway. Many officers cite the incident involving Sgt. Doug Weddleton in 2010, who was killed by a careless driver while working construction detail on the highway. As a result of incidents such as this, legislators passed what is known as the “move over” legislation. In an effort to make traffic stops safer for all involved, the legislation requires that all drivers attempt to move to the furthest possible lane upon seeing the familiar sight of flashing lights.
“Move Over” Fine in Massachusetts
The law authorized up to a $100 fine for failure to comply. At the time, Tracy Anderson, a manager at Red’s Towing in West Springfield, said, “It’s a constant thing. It’s dangerous out there, and people don’t realize it.” Echoing Anderson’s sentiment, Sgt. Alan Joubert said, “It’s part of the job, and it’s very dangerous.”
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
The “move over” law is one step towards safety for both officers and roadside personnel, but the rest is up to each Massachusetts driver. Careless and negligent driving can change someone’s life; or worse, end someone’s life. If you have suffered injury at the hands of a careless driver, attorney Peter Ventura is here to help. Contact Peter Ventura today at (508) 755-7535 to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.