It's something I think people sometimes forget.

That has to be the reason.

Because if they remembered, I don't think people would behave the way that they do.

First responders are people, too. They have families. They have parents and spouses and kids that love them. And at the end of the day, they want nothing more than to return home to their loved ones, just as you or I would.

The Bureau of Highway Safety says, " One of the most dangerous parts of an emergency responders’ job is stepping out on the side of the road, whether it is for a traffic stop, to assist a motorist or to investigate a crash."

To try to cut down on that risk, Maine enacted a "Move Over" law, back in 2007.

According to AAA site on driving laws, in Maine,

"State law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or to slow to a safe and reasonable speed. Also included in the law are utility vehicles."

However, information released by the Bureau of Highway Safety and Department of Public Safety over the last few years would indicate that Mainers seem to be increasingly ignoring this rule, to the degree that several of our first responders have been put in harm's way.

Bureau Of Highway Safety
Bureau Of Highway Safety

Just two years ago, the Bureau started to ramp up a safety campaign, to bring attention to the fact that drivers still aren't doing what they're supposed to, and moving over when they come to an accident scene.

"Maine State Troopers have experienced several close calls including one driver who crashed his vehicle into a cruiser that was on the side of the Turnpike with its emergency light on.  A volunteer firefighter was hit by a car while crews were extinguishing a vehicle fire in Washington County. That firefighter is hospitalized with serious injuries."

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The fact that the Bureau of Highway Safety has to issue us a reminder to follow a sensible rule that's been on the books for over a decade now, and was created to protect our first responders is disgraceful, in my humble opinion.

If it was your husband, your wife, your mom, or your dad...if it was your kid out there on the side of the road, you'd slow down and move over.

Well, that's what these folks are to someone else. So let's do better, Maine. Let's slow down and move over for these incredible people who already put themselves in enough harm's way coming to our rescue.

We owe them at least that much, if not more.

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