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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

Nick Street
DPS Public Affairs Director
Department of Public Safety
NSTREET@UTAH.GOV

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