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July 02, 2009

Road Construction: Drive Safely to Protect Officers

Traffic officers As the summer driving and road construction season heats up America, drivers should look out for law enforcement officers and emergency personnel working on roadways.

In 2008, more U.S. law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in traffic-related incidents than were killed by gunfire or any other single cause. Law enforcement officers across the country spend much of their time patrolling our roadways to ensure the safety and protection of other motorists. This is especially true during the summer, when more people are driving more miles, often traveling on congested highways to get to their vacations.

 

"Drive Safely" is a nationwide awareness campaign designed to reduce the number of law enforcement officers killed and injured on America's roadways. It provides 10 safe-driving tips that will help protect peace officers, including the following:

 

Move over. When see you a police or other emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the roadway, slow down and, if possible, safely move one additional lane away from the stopped vehicle. Forty-six states have enacted so-called "Move Over" laws, and violators can be ticketed and fined.

 

Focus on driving. Avoid talking on your cell phone, eating, hunting for items in your vehicle or engaging in other distractions while driving. Even a split-second distraction can spell danger for law enforcement, other drivers and yourself.

 

Never drive on the shoulder of a roadway. As tempting as it may be, this is not only illegal but also dangerous. Police and other emergency vehicles often use the shoulder to get to the scenes of traffic crashes and other incidents.

 

(Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund)

For more driving tips, check out RTM's Auto Safety & Security Section.

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