Thomasville Police Stepping Up Enforcement to Help Save Lives

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To many drivers it's a gesture that's common sense, slowing down and moving over when pulling up on an accident scene. But Thomasville police say too many drivers are failing to do so even though it's now the law.

SGT Rachelle Denmark, spokesperson for Thomasville police, says, "The move over law was created in July of 2003, but it is a law that a lot of people don't know about in the state of Georgia."

Georgia's "move over" law requires motorists to create a buffer lane between themselves and emergency personnel on the shoulder of the highway.

SGT Denmark adds, "People's lives are in danger when that buffer lane of safety is not created for the public safety personnel."

Thomasville firefighters say when they're on the scene of an accident they're focusing on how to help those in need. They say the last thing they need to worry about is drivers not moving over.

Marcus Lee with the Thomasville Fire Department says, "You have cars just watching what's going on at the wreck instead of where they're going, or getting over too close to you, and then you're having to watch your back to keep from getting run over by car or 18-wheelers that are on the road today."

Thomasville police say they'll be stepping up their enforcement of the move over law in the coming weeks, and say first time offenders can expect a fine of $500.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety says one-fourth of police officers killed in traffic crashes are struck by passing vehicles when outside their car.