When You See Emergency Lights at a Highway Crash, Slow Down, Move Over — It’s the Law

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In the wake of a crash last Friday in Southport, AAA Northeast strongly urges motorists to consider the potential danger emergency responders including tow truck drivers put themselves in when they assist disabled motorists on our interstates.

“Connecticut has a “Slow Down, Move Over” law — which means just that,” said Fran Mayko, the spokeswoman for AAA Northeast, the regional affiliate of the American Automobile Association.

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— an announcement from AAA Northeast

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“When a driver sees an emergency vehicle — whether it’s a state police cruiser, fire truck, ambulance, or a tow truck — with activated lights, drivers need to reasonably slow down below the speed limit,” she said.

And if possible, they should move to the adjacent lane to give responders space to operate, she said.

Last Friday evening, two parked AAA Northeast vehicles with emergency lights activated — a flatbed and battery van, assisting a disabled motorist on Interstate 95’s Exit 19 on ramp — were involved in a multi-vehicle crash. At least one AAA employee was hospitalized. Police continue to investigate the incident.

Night Police Lights CT State Police on Facebook March 30-17 uploaded 06-20-17

Photo from Connecticut State Police on Facebook

These emergency lights from a Connecticut State Police vehicle are only some of the lights that should cause drivers to slow down and move into a farther lane. Do it for fire vehicles, ambulances and tow trucks, too.

Connecticut’s Move Over law was passed in 2009 to protect drivers of emergency vehicles who assist disabled motorists on state roads. Fines range up to $2,500 if injuries are caused; and up to $10,000 if deaths result.

Although most publicized incidents involve state police, AAA Northeast tow truck drivers also experience near-hits. Since the beginning of the year, media accounts have reported nearly a dozen near-hits of emergency responders on state roadways.