Monday, April 14, 2008
Moving Over for Police Vehicles
Q: When officers have to pull over someone why do officers not get off the road completely? That is so unsafe for you when you are out of your vehicle and then people have to go around you which increases the likelihood of a collision with cars coming from the other way and you could get injured. I worry every time I see one of you guys in the road like that, people don't pay attention like they should. It seems very dangerous for you guys to be in that position.

A: Personally, I am very selective about where and when I am pulling vehicles over. I will wait until I feel it is personally safe for myself to do so (good oncoming visibility, roads less traveled, etc). This is not always possible however, for many reasons. Often persons do not stop in or off road properly and I have to position my car in a certain way to provide cover for myself and the motorist I am contacting, so with this in mind, the short answer is I try but in the real world it is not always feasible.

This is a good time to point out that Indiana law requires motorists to exercise caution when approaching an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the roadside with emergency lights activated.

Motorists are required to change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if they can do so safely. If unable, they must slow down and proceed with caution. Police ask motorists to do what they expect of others if they were on the roadside changing a flat tire. Give our emergency workers room to work.

Motorists found in violation of this law can face up to a $10,000 dollar fine. Violations culminating in property damage or injuries can result in the suspension of their driver’s license for a minimum of 90 days up to two years. This is in addition to any other penalties imposed by the courts.

Indiana emergency vehicles include:

* Police vehicles
* Ambulances
* Fire trucks and rescue equipment
* Highway incident-response vehicles
* Highway work vehicles
* Vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)

The intent of this law is to protect the emergency and highway personnel who serve the public. Please be alert when you see emergency lights and give them room to do their job.

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posted by South Bend Police Department @ 1:46 AM  

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