Moving over can save lives

Many drivers, spotting an emergency vehicle ahead of them on the berm, instinctively edge to the left in their lane or, if on a multi-lane highway, scoot over to the left lane. It just makes sense.

In West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, it also happens to be the law. All three states are among those with “move-over” laws. They require that drivers approaching emergency vehicles on the berm move over into the adjacent lane, if possible. It that is not prudent, motorists are supposed to slow down. Any vehicle displaying a flashing or rotating light — and that includes police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances and tow trucks — is covered.

All three of our states are participating in an initiative to step up enforcement of the law. It began Sunday and will continue through Saturday.

Good. Too many accidents occur because drivers do not obey the move-over law. Sometimes that is because of inattention and at other times, it is because motorists simply do not think it is important.

In West Virginia, those charged face a fine of up to $500 or up to 60 days in prison. The state’s Move Over law has been in effect since 2003.

So, good for police agencies for cracking down on those who disobey the law. Here’s hoping some hefty fines are handed out to drivers in too much of a hurry to move over.