PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association wishes to share with the public details about Crash Responder Safety Week, which is taking place this week.
Crash Responder Safety Week (CRSW) will take place Nov. 8-14. The initiative, previously referred to as National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week, is an opportunity to make a difference individually and collectively for roadway safety surrounding traffic incidents by promoting the common goal of increasing awareness and education for safe, quick clearance of roadway incidents.
Every day, first responders, including law enforcement professionals, across the country put their lives at risk while working to clear roadway crashes, debris and other incidents that put all road users at risk.
Law enforcement professionals in Rhode Island are encouraged to register and attend the National CRSW kickoff webinar, which will be held on Nov. 8 from 1-3 p.m. Additionally, the Federal Highway Administration has gathered helpful resources to make it as easy as possible for every traffic incident responder and response organization to observe CRSW. More information can be found on the FHWA website here.
‘Move Over RI’
The Move Over law was designed to protect those who drive emergency and other designated vehicles. The law requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching a designated vehicle that is stopped in a lane or on the edge/shoulder of a roadway.
As a statewide organization, RIPCA has seen firsthand the widespread importance of residents being aware of the Move Over law. On all roadways in the state, from residential roads to larger highways, it is critical that drivers know what the law is and why it is important.
This law applies to a wide range of vehicles, from police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, public utility and maintenance vehicles, transporter trucks and more. Drivers must know to slow down and move over for any vehicle equipped with flashing red, blue or amber lights — or other traffic warning signs — that is stopped in a lane or on the edge or shoulder of a roadway. Just as drivers must move to the side when they see one of these vehicles approaching from behind, so too should they move over if these vehicles are stopped in front of them.
“It is an all-too-common occurrence throughout the state for drivers to strike these vehicles, or even worse, strike the workers who have stepped out of their vehicles into the roadway,” said RIPCA Executive Director Sid Wordell. “Oftentimes these workers are focused on their duties, which may involve emergency response, rendering aid to those in need or conducting important infrastructure repairs, and it is crucial that drivers do their part in making sure these workers are as safe as possible.”
To learn more about Move Over laws in Rhode Island, click here.