LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 8/1/19 @ 12:35 p.m.
More than 1,600 tickets were written in Ohio alone during a week-long initiative aimed at enforcing and raising awareness about the "Move Over" law.
This week, troopers in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and three other states are participating in an awareness campaign on their states' respective laws about moving over a lane.
Six different agencies participated in the week-long initiative from July 21 to July 27, including Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, West Virginia State Police, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
According to troopers, 1,681 tickets were written to drivers in Ohio.
“I commend the Ohio State Highway Patrol and their out-of-state partners for their work to educate drivers about this important law,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “By simply moving over and slowing down, drivers can prevent serious accidents and make our roads safer for those working and driving on them.”
Ohio law requires all drivers to move over to an adjacent lane when approaching any vehicle with flashing or rotating lights parked on the roadside.
If moving over isn't possible, drivers are asked to slow down and proceed with caution.
The "Move Over" law now exists is all 50 states.
To see a map of where tickets were written, click here.
ORIGINAL STORY 7/22/19
Every time a law enforcement officer steps out of their cruiser, they are stepping in to danger and unknown possibilities, even at a traffic stop.
"There's a myriad of things that could happen in a split second," said Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Austin Hall. "I'm constantly looking at traffic, making sure no one is coming close to me. I would rather my focus be on that vehicle."
This week, troopers in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and three other states are participating in an awareness campaign on their states' respective laws about moving over a lane as you approach an emergency vehicle pulled off to the side of the road with their lights on.
"Our law enforcement officers and roadway workers risk their lives every day serving the citizens of Ohio," said Gov. Mike DeWine. "They are vulnerable while working on the side of the road, which is why it's so very important that drivers do their part to help keep them safe by moving over and slowing down."
Trooper Hall says it's a common occurrence, too. Driver's usually give the same excuses after they have been stopped.
"Not familiar with the law, couldn't get over in time, just wasn't paying attention."
Hall says whatever the reason, it doesn't matter. Failure to move over is an automatic citation in Ohio. He adds even if you are unaware that it is against the law, moving over should just be a common courtesy.
"Even if you didn't know the law, and you see someone out there working on the side of the highway, out protecting people and saving lives, I think it is a common courtesy, like 'Hey maybe I don't want to drive by these people going 60 when there's a whole other lane that I could be driving in," Hall said.
From 2014 to 2018, Ohio troopers were involved in 56 crashes that appear to be related to the "Move Over" law.
In that same time, more that 18,000 citations were issued for violations because drivers didn't move over. Troopers in Lawrence County, Ohio, issued more than 170 citations during that time. There were 88 in Gallia, 85 in Jackson, and only five in Vinton.
Hall says troopers realize it's not always possible for cars to get over. If that is the case, you should slow down as you pass the cruiser.