Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Don't Go into the Lights

Yesterday morning around 3:20, officers were dispatched to a non-injury accident involving a deer. This occurred in the area of US69 Highway near 183rd Street. There were several officers who responded to the accident and one of them was there merely for traffic control.

While one officer was inside her vehicle, another motorist approached from behind and struck the driver's side door and front fender of her patrol car. The officer had angled her car upon arrival, which greatly diffused some of the blow. The driver of the striking vehicle attempted to swerve out of the way at the last minute, which also helped to minimize the damage.

The officer was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries but, obviously, this could have been a different story. A week ago we talked about the number of on-duty deaths suffered during 2013, and the stats showed traffic accidents as the number two cause of death for law enforcement officers.

The crash investigation is still on-going and this blog is in no way trying to place blame on the driver that morning for what happened, but we simply want to bring this important issue to your attention.

Whether it’s a law enforcement officer, fire department personnel, or one of the many Department of Transportation workers on the streets and highways, it’s imperative we do everything we can to protect those who work on our roadways.

Here in the state of Kansas, we have several laws specifically designed to protect these individuals:

Move Over Law:

Kansas law protects everyone who works along our highways. This includes maintenance crews, construction workers, law enforcement officers and emergency responders. The law requires motorists on four-lane highways to switch to the lane farthest from any stationary vehicle displaying flashing lights, if they can do so SAFELY. On two-lane roads, motorists are required to slow down and proceed with caution.

Move It Law:

The "Move It" law states that all drivers involved in traffic crashes must move their vehicles out of the lane of traffic to keep traffic moving, except when there are injuries, the vehicle can't be moved or one of the drivers involved appears to be intoxicated.