NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As part of Crash Responder Safety Week, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and AAA want to remind drivers to “slow down and move over.”
According to a release, an average of 24 emergency responders are hit and killed while working at roadsides each year across the country — and it’s not just emergency responders being killed. In 2019, 13 people were struck and killed while outside of a disabled vehicle in Tennessee alone.
TDOT also said five of its vehicles are hit every month by passing drivers, resulting in injuries or damages.
AAA has some tips for drivers to help improve highway safety:
- "Remain alert, avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving."
- "Keep an eye out for situations where emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility service vehicles or disabled vehicles are stopped on the side of the road."
- "When you see these situations, slow down and if possible move one lane over and away from the people and vehicles stopped at the side of the road."
In Tennessee, drivers face a maximum fine of up to $500 and possibly up to 30 days in jail for failing to move over or slow down for an emergency vehicle, tow truck, utility vehicle, or road maintenance vehicle that has flashing lights on the side of the road.