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For Immediate Release - Sep 27, 2011
Sheriff's Office Public Information Director
303-271-5697 - work
303-435-1421 - cell
Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer
303-271-5602 - work
303-419-3392 - cell
||200 Jefferson County Parkway
Golden, CO 80401
Re: Keeping emergency responders safe
|Jefferson County, Co – Denver area law enforcement agencies are teaming up for a multi-jurisdictional effort to ensure drivers are following “move over” laws in place to protect emergency responders. The enforcement period is set for the week of September 26, 2011.
The Colorado State Patrol, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Arvada and Wheat Ridge police departments are all participating in this important effort.
One of the greatest dangers to the safety of a police officer is a “simple” traffic stop. While this is something a police officer does several times during the course of his/her shift, it also poses a tremendous risk because of the potential for another driver to hit them while the officer is standing near the roadway.
A national law enforcement organization compiled statistics that showed an average of one officer a month was struck and killed for the 17-year period between 1993 and 2009.
Colorado has laws in place requiring drivers to yield the right of way to all emergency vehicles operating with lights and/or sirens. Drivers must pull to the right side of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle passes. Violators of this law can be subject to a ticket.
What if a police officer is on a traffic stop on the right side of the road? If a police officer is out of their patrol car making a traffic stop, or if other emergency responders are on the side of the road (including tow truck operators), the driver must move over one lane (if available) when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated. If there is not another lane due to traffic, weather, roadway design, etc., the driver must reduce his/her vehicle to a safe speed while passing the emergency vehicle.
Violators of this law can be written for 42-4-705 (2) (b) or (c) Failing to yield right of way to a stationary emergency vehicle.
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