Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chief’s Corner

November 26, 2008

“Slow down and move over.”

Kansas is giving the move-over law some teeth.

It has become a top priority to do everything possible to protect officers who are out on the roadways enforcing the traffic laws. Making sure that drivers comply with motor vehicle statutes is the mainstay of police work, and it is also among the most dangerous assignments.

To cut down on deaths and injuries to officers who are out on the roadways, Kansas has passed “move-over” laws. The law mandates that motorists safely merge to an adjacent lane on roadways with two or more lanes when police or emergency personnel are stopped near or on the road. The law also states that when it’s not possible to switch lanes or when a second lane does not exist, the driver must slow down and proceed with caution.

Law enforcement agencies across the country have beefed up efforts to enforce the laws. The Basehor Police Department will become more aggressive about enforcing this law especially as winter moves in and the potential for slick roads becomes an issue. It’s not only a safety issue, but also good-old common courtesy to move over when a vehicle is on the shoulder of the road, especially a patrol car with its lights on.

Ignoring this law could cost motorists $170 if issued a citation.

Many officers die each year in the line of duty, and statistics show that more than half were killed in traffic-related deaths. “Move-over” laws are a perfect way to protect police officers and the public alike.

Happy Thanksgiving! Please drive safely and move over.

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