MAINE, USA — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above aired Feb. 14, 2019.
In a release Wednesday, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said emergency responders in Maine have reported seeing an increase in drivers failing to move over and slow down in recent weeks.
One of the most dangerous parts of an emergency responder's job is stepping out on the side of the road, whether it is for a traffic stop, to assist a driver, or to investigate a crash.
Moss said Maine State Police troopers have experienced several close calls, including one driver who crashed his vehicle into a cruiser that was on the side of the Maine Turnpike with its emergency light on. The trooper, who was assisting a driver, was not in his cruiser at the time of the crash, according to Moss.
Moss said a volunteer firefighter was hospitalized with serious injuries after being hit by a car while crews were extinguishing a vehicle fire in Washington County.
According to Moss, traffic-related incidents are one of the leading causes of death among on-duty law enforcement officers.
Drivers can help keep emergency responders safe by knowing the law and following it: When a driver sees flashing lights, they should slow down and if possible, move over to an adjacent lane that’s not next to the emergency vehicle. This allows emergency responders to do their job safely and efficiently.
Failing to follow this law puts people at unnecessary risk. It also carries a minimum $250 fine, according to Moss.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video below aired Feb. 14, 2019.