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Monday August 10, 2020 Salt Lake City, UT

Highway Safety

Media Alert

Press Release

Protecting Utah

Traffic Incident Response Week Media Event

Sunday November 10, 2019

Traffic Incident Response Week

Why

  • November 10-16, 2019, has been designated by the Federal Highway Administration as National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week to draw public awareness to the dangers emergency responders face when reacting to a traffic incident. 
  • Emergency responders across the country work tirelessly to help save lives at the scene of traffic incidents.
  • Every year hundreds of emergency responders experience close calls, or are struck and either injured or killed while responding to these incidents, and at incident scenes.
  • And motorists are as likely or more likely to be in danger at these scenes. 
  • “Emergency responder” is more than officers and firefighters. This includes incident management teams, tow truck operators, fire and medical personnel as well as construction and utility workers.
  • Emergency responders are excited at the opportunity to teach the motoring public about our common goals and responsibilities at traffic incidents. 

When

  • Utah Highway Patrol will kick-off the week by holding a Media Event on Tuesday, November, 12th, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Where

  • Utah Highway Patrol Headquarters, Calvin Rampton Complex, 4501 South Constitution Blvd (2700 West), Salt Lake City, Utah 84129 

Who

  • Colonel Mike Rapich – Utah Highway Patrol
  • Traffic Incident Crash Survivors – Available for individual on-camera interviews
    • Battalion Chief Bart Vawdrey – Draper City Fire Department 
    • Sergeant Cade Brenchley – Utah Highway Patrol
    • Jeff Reynolds – UDOT Incident Management Team Supervisor
    • Bryce Bullock – Tow Truck Operator – Larry’s Towing

Questions

  • Contact Sgt. Nick Street, the UHP PIO at (801)554-5659

Goal For the Week

  • Many drivers remain unaware of the “Move Over” law and the risk they present to emergency responders when they enter an active traffic incident area.
  • Utah law requires drivers to slow down and/or move over.
  • This law is designed to protect the first responders as well as any traffic incident victims.
  • As we enter the months when we’ll be experiencing inclement weather, drivers need to know the absolute importance of SLOWING DOWN and giving first responders an additional lane.
  • Drivers are also encouraged to move their vehicle off the interstate or highway following a fender-bender so long as their vehicle is still driveable. 

Crashes in Utah Put Emergency Personnel At Risk

  • There were 62,471 crashes in Utah in 2016
  • That’s an average of 171 a day and just over 7 an hour
  • That means that thousands of times a year, emergency personnel are responding to crashes.
  • Each time they’re out there, they’re vulnerable to being injured and even killed by inattentive and unaware motorists.

Did you know?

  • One in seven firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty are killed in vehicle-related incidents.
  • Traffic incidents are the number one cause of death of EMS/EMT responders. 
  • Traffic incidents are a leading cause of death for police officers.
  • In 2019, there have been 10 incidents where UHP Trooper were parked on the side of the roadway with their rear-facing flashing lights activated and their patrol vehicles were hit by motorists attempting to pass. 
  • UHP issued 1,086 move-over citations in 2017, 761 in 2018 and 480 in 2019.

Utah’s Law

Utah’s Move Over Law is contained in Utah Code 41-6a-904

Drivers approaching stationary emergency vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles or towing vehicles displaying flashing red, red & white, red and blue lights or amber lights need to slow down, provide as much space as practical to the stationary vehicles, and, move over a lane if it’s safe and clear.

This law requires drivers to move over and/or slow down when approaching stopped emergency or maintenance vehicles.

The consequences of breaking this simple law can be disastrous and deadly.

It’s a life-saving law, but many people don’t know about it.

Although all 50 states have enacted “Move Over” laws, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 71% of Americans are unaware of these laws.

Utah’s Crash Move-Off Law is contained in Utah Code 41-6A-401

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MEDIA CONTACT

Joe Dougherty
DPS Public Affairs Director
Department of Public Safety
JDOUGHERTY@UTAH.GOV

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