So, it has happened again: the parked vehicle of an emergency responder, assisting a disabled motorist, is struck on the highway.
—an announcement from AAA Northeast
The latest incident occurred early Sunday when Trooper Greg Sawicki assisted a disabled motorist near I-95’s Exit 22 in Fairfield when his car was hit from behind by another vehicle.
The trooper’s car — with activated lights — slammed into the back the disabled car. Both the trooper and the people in the disabled car were taken to hospitals with serious but non-life-threatening injuries according to media reports.
This situation again drives home the fact: many Connecticut drivers still aren’t heading the state’s Slow Down, Move Over law, says AAA Northeast.
“You see this daily on our roadways,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “Connecticut’s “Slow Down, Move Over” law means just that: when a driver sees an emergency vehicle, whether it’s a state police cruiser, fire truck, ambulance, DOT vehicles, or a tow truck with activated lights, drivers need to reasonably slow down below the speed limit. And if possible, move to the adjacent lane to give responders space to operate.”.
Since the beginning of the year, media accounts have reported numerous –near hits or actual crashes of emergency responders on state roadways. Although most publicized incidents involve state police, AAA Northeast tow truck drivers have also experienced close calls. In fact, one AAA employee was seriously
injured in a multi-vehicle crash in Southport two years ago, when a speeding box truck collided into two parked AAA vehicles helping a disabled motorist.
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.