The Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) joined its regional partners including Henrico Police, Henrico Fire, Richmond Police, Richmond Fire, Chesterfield County Police, Chesterfield Fire and EMS, Hanover Sheriff’s Department, Hanover Fire and EMS, VCU Police, Virginia State Police (VSP) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to shoot a video as part of a “Move Over” campaign that will launch in June.
The video features all of the departments pushing the importance of moving over or slowing down when they see flashing lights on the side of the road. In the past year there have been several accidents and even fatalities involving first responders and tow drivers who have been struck on the side of the road. The video will launch in coordination with “Move Over Awareness Month” and ahead of a new “Move Over” law taking effect in July.
The “Move Over” law was adopted in Virginia in 2002 and will have harsher penalties beginning July 1, 2019. The law today requires drivers to yield right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating blue, red, or amber light or lights. The law is designed to protect emergency personnel and also applies to operators of tow trucks, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) vehicles, motorist assistance vehicles, and other road maintenance or emergency vehicles displaying a flashing amber light.
Starting in July drivers who fail to move over or slow down for police, fire, EMS or similar vehicles could face a reckless driving charge which can include up to a year in jail. Drivers who fail to move over or slow down for other vehicles such as tow trucks can still face a $250 fine and could still face license suspension if the failure results in a crash.