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Evidence supports Ohio law enforcers' focus on Move Over law

It's not exactly rocket science.

In fact, Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. and spokesperson Nathan E. Dennis calls a promoted driving maneuver "something very simple and easy you can do."

It seems hard to argue his point. What state law enforcers, legislators and traffic regulators recommend to Ohio motorists seeing flashing emergency lights ahead is this straightforward safety prescription: slow down and create a bit of room.

That just makes sense, right? Drivers should automatically steer clear of emergency vehicles like patrol cars, maintenance vehicles and tow trucks.

Sadly, they don't always do that. Negligence - buoyed by on-board distractions and other catalysts - routinely yields adverse outcomes on Ohio roadways, many of them fatal.

Ohio long ago formally responded to that reality, with legislators passing a so-called Move Over law back in 1996. That enactment requires motorists seeing flashing lights ahead to deaccelerate and, when possible, move to an adjacent lane. If lane changing is not feasible, drivers should proceed slowly and with extreme caution.

Again, and while such instructions seem eminently simple and easy to abide by, crashes involving roadside emergency vehicles are depressingly common. Reportedly, nearly 50 such accidents occurred within a recent five-year measuring period, on roads ranging from interstate corridors to local routes.

Unsurprisingly, the usual behind-the-wheel culprits played a major - often the sole - role in literally steering bad outcomes. Drunk driving is often revealed in the wake of a failed Move Over crash. Speeding is routinely a factor.

Here's a number underscoring the dimensions of Move Over violations: During the above-cited measuring period, state patrol officers issued more than 23,000 citations to drivers deemed to be operating unsafely.

Negligent driving behaviors across a broad spectrum cause injuries to other motorists and their passengers sharing the road. Questions or concerns regarding a motor vehicle-linked personal injury can be directed to a proven Ohio personal injury legal team.

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