The Oregon police released video this week of the accident involving motorcycle patrolman Officer Clint Chrz last November. The motorcycle camera shows the officer standing by the driver’s door of the vehicle he had pulled over. What appears next is shocking to watch. Another vehicle speeding down Pacific Highway struck the officer’s motorcycle, which then slammed into the officer. The impact of the collison threw the Office Chrz into the middle lane of the busy highway.
Speaking on the Today Show this morning, Officer Chrz said that a good samaritan saw him lying in the middle of the highway and stopped behind him to protect him from oncoming traffic. The officer was very lucky in that he only received a concussion and cuts and bruises. If he had not been wearing a helmet, it may have been a different story.
The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Police are using this accident to demonstrate the importance of abiding by the state’s “Move Over” law.
The State of Florida enacted a similar law in 2002. The Florida law requires drivers travelling on a highway with 2 or more lanes to “vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, as soon as it is safe to do so.” On streets and highways with only 2 lanes,
except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, drivers are required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less.
These Move Over laws only make sense and can save precious lives. Emergency workers, police officers and the road rangers risk their lives everytime they stop on our busy highways. Let’s all make sure they get home to their families safe every night. When they are stopped along the highways or streets, let’s give them some room to do their job, and please Move Over.