Turn on the radio, put away your cell phone, buckle your seat belt and keep an eye on the road – all things drivers learn before heading out. But, one thing many motorists may not be aware of is Colorado’s “Move Over” law. If you see an emergency vehicle pulled over on the side of the road, move over a lane to give them space. Local law enforcement is sharing the message – slow down, move over and keep everyone safe on the roads.
Castle Rock Police, along with 29 law enforcement agencies statewide, will be heading out Wednesday, March 22 to educate and enforce Colorado’s “Move Over” law.
The law is in place to protect law enforcement, roadside workers and drivers. It requires motorists to move over one lane to provide a safe buffer for emergency vehicles on the side of a highway or road. If moving over a lane is not possible, the law requires drivers to greatly reduce their speed when approaching an emergency vehicle.
“Colorado’s ‘Move Over’ law not only protects law enforcement and other emergency personnel, but other drivers as well,” said Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley. “One is too many and in Colorado there have been several tragic incidents that were a result of drivers not moving over for law enforcement. This law helps keep everyone safe – both law enforcement and the people we serve and protect.”
In many traffic crashes, distracted driving is a factor. Statewide traffic fatalities continue to increase – 488 in 2014; 547 in 2015; 607 in 2016. Encouraging motorists to stop driving while distracted is a key to reducing overall traffic crashes. The “Move Over” law is part of that overarching campaign.
The law was first implemented in July 2015. However, several officers have been injured, or lost their lives, due to drivers not abiding by the law. For the next several months, law enforcement agencies across the state will be joining forces to educate drivers and help enforce this lifesaving law.
In an effort to continually increase awareness, this is the fourth iteration of “Operation 1 Charlie 3.” The operation was named in honor of Colorado State Trooper Cody Donahue and his family. Donahue was hit and killed by a driver who failed to move over.
These high-visibility and educational efforts take place monthly. During February’s campaign, law enforcement stopped more than 900 drivers. At least 585 of those stops were “Move Over” violations. Law enforcement’s goal is to keep reducing that number and increase awareness among motorists.
Participating agencies in Wednesday’s enforcement and educational campaign include:
- Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
- Aurora Police Department
- Basalt Police Department
- Boulder County Sheriff’s Office
- Boulder Police Department
- Broomfield Police Department
- Cannon City Police Department
- Castle Rock Police Department
- Colorado State Patrol
- Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
- Durango Police Department
- Florence Police Department
- Fort Lupton Police Department
- Fremont County Sheriff’s Office
- Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
- Greenwood Village Police Department
- Lafayette Police Department
- Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
- Logan County Sheriff’s Office
- Lone Tree Police Department
- Park County Sheriff’s Office
- Parker Police Department
- Peterson Airforce Base Security Forces
- Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office
- Teller County Sheriff’s Office
- University of Colorado Boulder Police Department
- Wheatridge Police Department
- Woodland Park Police Department
Also, special thanks to CDOT and the Northwest Parkway Toll Authority for helping keep drivers informed with the video message boards.
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