Slow down and move over. That’s what State Police are reminding people to do when police cars and other emergency vehicles are stopped along the road with their emergency lights on. Recently a number of cruisers were hit by drivers.
Maine State Police Sergeant Brian Harris says, “it’s quite unnerving to have cars going past you on the side of the road within mere inches or feet of you any more inches or feet they can give us we certainly appreciate.”
Six cruisers in our state were hit in the past six weeks – one was just north of Lincoln and involved Recruit Adam Bell from Troop F. Though he wasn’t injured, four other troopers recently were. According to Sargeant Brian Harris, the law states that drivers are required to pass these scenes in a careful and prudent manner — slow down, and if there are no vehicles in the oncoming lane or if you’re on the interstate and no vehicles are driving beside you, you need to make an effort to give them some space.
“Obviously our attention is directed to what we’re working on on the side of the road whether its an accident or a car stop we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to those cars going along behind us,” says Harris.
This law of course applies to all emergency vehicles. Houlton Fire Chief and Ambulance Service Director Milton Cone says they’ve had several instances where either ambulances or fire trucks have been hit and damaged.
“People tend to not slow down until the last moment and it could be an icy road condition that has caused the accident and sometimes they don’t realize it until they’re right on top of it,” said Cone.
Cone adds that often times accident scenes are congested because of the amount of responders there. The fine for this violation is a steep one, 311 dollars, but Harris says obeying this law is crucial to keep everyone at the scene and those driving by as safe as possible.