(WWLP) – A man has been sentenced to prison for hitting Massachusetts police trooper Thomas Devlin with his car during a traffic stop in 2018. Delvin died from injuries from the crash two years later, and it now serves as a tragic reminder for Massachusetts drivers to move over.
Mark Schieldrop for AAA Northeast told 22News, “When you see those red, blue, or yellow blinking lights on the side of the road slow down, move over if you can do that safely. We are seeing quite a few incidences of police officers, first responders, and folks outside of their vehicles because of a breakdown being struck by people who have taken their eyes off the road.”
The Move Over Law has been in effect in Massachusetts since 2009. It aims to make first responders, tow truck drivers, and all roadside emergency and maintenance workers safer on the job.
That law requires drivers approaching an emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next lane and slow down if it is safe to do so. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $100. AAA says drivers need to stay alert on the roads, avoid distractions, and stay focused on the task of driving.
William Morin of East Longmeadow told 22News, “It’s a safety thing, its a courtesy. I do see people not doing it, but I try to obey the law.”
On multi-lane roadways, slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle at the roadside and, if possible, move over into the next lane. If you are unable to switch lanes, slow down to a safe speed.
According to one national report, there has been an increase of officers killed in traffic-related incidents. That was 58 officers from 2020 to 2021. 27 of them were struck by a vehicle while they were outside of their patrol car.