1/4 drivers are unaware of the “Move Over” law, AAA study says

AAA is reminding drivers of the importance of the "Move Over" law as Austin saw it’s first fatality crash last week. 

"If people would follow the "Move Over Slow Down" law we could decrease that number and save lives," said Daniel Armburster, a AAA Texas spokesperson.

Last week, 41-year-old Cesar Ramirez-Hernandez, a maintenance worker, was working off North Mopac when he was hit and killed by a driver. The crash also killed a three-year-old.

AAA spoke to FOX 7 Austin about the dangers, maintenance crews, first responders, EMS, and tow truck drivers face when doing their jobs on the side of roadways. 

"An average of 24 emergency responders including tow operators are struck and killed by vehicles while working on the roadside each year. That means on average there’s a road worker or emergency crew killed every other week in the United States and those numbers are just way to high," said Armburster.

When it comes to the Lone star state, Daniel Armburster said Texas leads the nation in these types of deaths. Back in December, 2 road workers installing a sign next to 35 were struck and killed by a car. The driver Cody Hobza, is currently charged with manslaughter.

The state of Texas as well as many other states has what’s known as the move over law. As the name states, drivers must move over a lane when crews are on the shoulder of the road or if they can’t reduce speed by 20 miles per hour. 

"When they are approaching emergency vehicles, law-] enforcement, tow trucks, utility service vehicles or Texas department of transportation vehicles," said Armburster. 

While this is the law, a recent study from AAA shows many drivers are unaware of it. "Nearly 1 quarter of those surveyed, about 23%, are unaware of the move over law in the state where they live and those who are aware of it about 15% aren’t aware of the consequences for violating the law."

Violating the move over law can lead to hefty fines as well as a risk of causing a fatality. 

AAA is hopeful drivers will keep this in mind the next time they get behind the wheel. 

"Keep an eye out for situations where emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility services, disabled vehicles anyone stopped along the side of the road and when you do see those situations slow down and if possible move over one lane it’s always better to move over if you can do so safely. That way you’re giving them space to do their job to help rescue people along the side of the road."

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