Two Virginia state troopers, a Virginia Beach police officer and a law enforcement officer from Chapin South Carolina (SC), found themselves victims of reckless and negligent drivers within a three-day period of July 2015. These wrecks on interstates, surface roads and state highways likely only represent a small sample of civilian drivers who fail to observe vital safety laws that require people approaching emergency responders on the side of the road to slow down or move over.
The most recent, and potentially most serious, violation of Virginia's move over law occurred in Pulaski on July 28, when a speeding driver slammed into the rear of a state police cruiser that was on the shoulder of I-81. Two troopers had stopped to assist with a disabled tractor-trailer, and the one who had exited his vehicle got badly injured when he had to hurdle a guardrail to avoid getting run over.
On July 26, a Virginia Beach police officer rushing to the scene of a crash at Ferry Plantation Road and Haygood Road got sideswiped by a driver who appears to have ignored the officer's siren and flashing lights as he traveled through the intersection of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Witchduck Road.. Much earlier that same morning in Chapin, SC, an alleged drugged driver ran off the side of Columbia Avenue at around 3:20 am and struck a parked police vehicle.
All the law enforcement officers are expected to recover, but that bit of good news cannot be allowed to gloss over the real truth that none should have suffered injuries in the first place. Drivers must give emergency responders the time and space they need to ensure everyone's health and safety on the road.