Source: WTKR, News Channel 3
A police officer had to be transported to the hospital after a crash in Virginia Beach, VA. The officer was heading to another situation to assist a fellow officer when the wreck occurred at around 6:45 p.m. The collision took place at the intersection of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Independence Boulevard.
The officer was transported to the hospital with injuries. The cause of the crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed, as of the date of this posting.
Traffic had to be rerouted on the busy intersection. The accident highlights the importance of driving safely around both at an intersection and when a police officer is attending to a task. According to a 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, “crashes often occur at intersections because these are the locations where two or more roads cross each other and activities such as turning left, crossing over, and turning right have the potential for conflicts resulting in crashes.”
Virginia also has a “Move Over” law. The Move Over law, section 46.2 – 921.1 of Virginia code, states that “upon approaching a stationary vehicle that is flashing, blinking or alternating blue, red or amber light or lights,” the driver must proceed with caution and change lanes away from the stationary vehicle, granting that traffic allows for a safe transition. If it is not possible to change lanes, the driver must maintain a “safe speed for highway conditions.”
The officer was not stationary when the accident occurred, but if the drivers of the other vehicle had nicked the officer while he or she was parked, they could be subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor.
It is fortunate that the officer only received minor injuries. Data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows that from 1997 to 2010, traffic fatalities were the leading cause of officer fatalities. As of 2014, traffic fatalities are up 32% from the year before.
If an officer on duty is handling business on a busy road, it could be a matter of serious injury or death if motorists are not careful to avoid a preventable collision.