Friday, July 6, 2012

Another Close Call

Back in January of 2011, an Overland Park officer was working the scene of an accident in the 12500 block of US69 Highway when his patrol car was struck from behind by another motorist.
The officer, who was seated inside the patrol car at the time of the collision, suffered significant injuries that kept him sidelined from active duty for more than eight months.

There have been several other “close calls” or accidents involving officers here within the city. Luckily, only minor injuries have been reported in these events.

Last night we had another incident where one of our officers was involved in an accident while sitting inside his patrol car. The officer was on a traffic stop on I435 just east of Quivira when his vehicle was side-swiped by a passing semi. Thankfully, the officer received minor injuries and should return to work shortly.

Traffic related fatalities have long been one of the leading causes of deaths for on-duty police officers. Thankfully, so far in 2012, the number has declined 40% over last year’s totals.

Are you aware Kansas has a "Move Over Law”? All but a few states have laws in effect which require motorists on four-lane highways to slow down and move away from emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights.

Did you know the law also applies to vehicles engaged in highway construction or maintenance, that are displaying a flashing amber light? When passing a stopped emergency or law-enforcement vehicle with its flashing lights on, you must either vacate the closest lane, or significantly reduce your speed.

The "Move Over Law” was enacted following the deaths of two KDOT maintenance workers, who were killed in traffic incidents in 2005. If you have not already done so, please make a habit of "moving over" when approaching an emergency or construction vehicle on the side of the road. Doing so could save a life.