Today: "Slow Down, Move Over" Awareness Day
DENVER (Oct. 19, 2020) - Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has proclaimed today, Oct. 19, 2020, "Slow Down, Move Over Awareness Day" in the State of Colorado on behalf of AAA Colorado and other roadside first responders.
The proclamation commemorates a new law, now in effect, specifying how much drivers must slow down if they are unable to move over when passing a stationary emergency vehicle, tow vehicle, or public utility vehicle working at, near, or in the roadway with its lights flashing.
State of Colorado
WHEREAS, law enforcement officers, firefighters, public service utility workers, emergency medical personnel, road crews, and tow operators conduct valuable and often life-saving operations at the roadside; and
WHEREAS, these on-scene personnel provide a critical public service as first responders; and
WHEREAS, they are called to duty at all hours of the day and night, in adverse weather conditions, and in a dangerous roadside environment; and
WHEREAS, across the country, 44 emergency responders who were working at the roadway were struck and killed in 2019, including 18 law enforcement officers, 14 tow truck operators, 3 mobile mechanics, and 9 firefighters and EMS personnel; and
WHEREAS, the towing industry is 15 times deadlier than all other private industries combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and
WHEREAS, one death is too many; and
WHEREAS, the State of Colorado has strengthened its "Slow Down, Move Over" law through the "Move Over for Cody Act" since the tragic 2016 death of Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue at the roadside; and
WHEREAS, a new Colorado law took effect on September 13, 2020 stipulating to what degree motorists must reduce their speed when overtaking an emergency vehicle, tow vehicle, or public utility vehicle that is operating at the roadside; and
WHEREAS, while all 50 states have "Slow Down, Move Over" laws, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know these laws, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and
WHEREAS, there is a need for Coloradans to be educated on the dangers of failing to abide by these laws;
THEREFORE, I Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim October 19, 2020 as "SLOW DOWN, MOVE OVER AWARENESS DAY" in the State of Colorado.
Given under my hand and the Executive Seal of the State of Colorado, this nineteenth day of October, 2020.
To protect roadside workers, AAA offers these precautionary tips:
- Always remain alert. Avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving. Take charge of your phone and sign the pledge to never drive distracted at AAA.com/StaySafe.
- Maintain a visual lead of everything going on 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you. This gives you time to see problems ahead and to change lanes and adjust speed accordingly.
- Emergencies can occur anywhere on the road. When you see flashing lights of any color, slow down and prepare well in advance to change lanes. Allow others to merge into your lane when necessary.
- Give yourself extra space when following semi-trucks or large vehicles. If a truck moves into a left-hand lane, don't speed around the right side. They are changing lanes for a reason. Be prepared to change lanes yourself.
- When road conditions are slick, don't make sudden lane changes that can cause an uncontrollable skid. Change lanes early and move over gradually.
- If you are unable to move over, slow down. Remember, lives are on the line.
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
AAA Colorado is a proud part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second-largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more.