Local

Many Drivers Still Ignorant Of ‘Move Over Law’

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV
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Drivers are required to move over one lane to give space to emergency vehicles.

Drivers are required to move over one lane to give space to emergency vehicles.

WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Bill Shields
Bill Shields is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. He...
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NORTH ATTLEBORO (CBS) – In March 2009, Massachusetts enacted the “Move Over Law” – when you see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, you’re supposed to move over one lane.

But many people still don’t follow it.

“I don’t know if the public’s not aware of it enough or what’s going on, but it’s just not working well at all,” Don Achin, owner of Achin’s Garage in North Attleboro, told WBZ-TV.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

At Achin’s Garage, they’re hooked in directly to AAA, so sometimes they tow more than 1,000 cars in a month.

Pete Cloutier is one of their tow truck drivers.

He has to step out of his truck to help stranded motorists on the highway and he’s constantly watching oncoming traffic speeding by only feet from where he stands.

“It’s mainly the passenger cars. Everybody’s too busy drinking coffee and texting and talking on the phone,” he said.

State police say they don’t often have the manpower to enforce the “Move Over Law.”

In it’s first year, troopers issued 3,161 violations, according to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

By 2010, it was up to 4,263.

But this year, there’s been a dropoff to 2,285.

Trooper Dan O’Sullivan saw fellow troopers die on the side of our highways. He saw the public in danger and helped create the law.

“I’d say 7 out of 10 people are aware of it and they do move over. But it’s the other 2 or 3 cars that I’m concerned about. They’re the ones that are going to kill somebody,” he said.

State police say the law is not meant to be a revenue generator, but is designed to save lives.

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