The collaboration between the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol for Operation Guardians of the Roadway aims to intensify the enforcement of Tennessee’s Move Over Law. For more information on the law, click here.
Enacted in 2006, the law mandates drivers to either shift into an adjacent traffic lane when safe or decelerate when approaching emergency vehicles on the roadside. While the law doesn’t also apply to semis that are pulled over, it does encourage drivers to be more aware of vehicles pulled onto the shoulder.
In 2023, there have been 33 incidents of HELP trucks being struck while responding to emergencies, with five of these accidents occurring in November, as per a TDOT news release.
On Nov. 17, officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Chattanooga Police Department, and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office dedicated a total of 84 hours to the operation. They conducted 77 vehicle stops, issued 15 warnings, and issued nine citations for violations of the state’s Move Over Law. The hope is that everyone on the road will become more aware of vehicles on the shoulder of roadways.
“State law requires drivers to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles,” said Butch Eley, deputy governor and TDOT commissioner. “Working together with our extraordinary law enforcement partners, we can help change driver behavior and make it safer for everyone on the road. Crash responders can’t do their jobs if their lives are being put at risk.”
Tennessee imposes a maximum fine of up to $500 and a potential jail term of up to 30 days for violating the Move Over Law.
Source: The Trucker