OUR VIEW: On the road, remember to ‘move over’ for emergency personnel

It seems like a simple concept, yet too often it is not followed. That’s why Saturday’s event at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds was held — to raise awareness of Georgia’s “move over” law.

The law is as easy as it sounds: When you see emergency personnel working on the roadside you should move over to the outside lane as a safety precaution. But the law isn’t always followed, putting emergency personnel in harm’s way.

“You would be amazed at how often we have heard from police and fire and tow truck drivers that they are lucky to be alive because they were grazed by a side mirror,” Wanda Johnson said.

Johnson is the wife of Lawrenceville Police Chief Randy Johnson and is the head of Gwinnett’s Move Over Georgia Save A Life Committee. Her committee along with the Gwinnett Police Chiefs Association put together the event — called “Light Up Gwinnett” — which included representatives from every Gwinnett County police agency, the Gwinnett County fire department, the Georgia State Patrol and local tow truck personnel.

When the sun went down, they turned on the lights on their various vehicles, thus the event’s name. Officers and other personnel answered questions and put on demonstrations, making it a family friendly event. But the focus was very serious — to put the “move over” law in the forefront of people’s mind.

“One of our core missions is to educate the public so they are aware of this important law and how to react if they ever approach one of our first responders in the roadway,” said Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley, president of the Gwinnett Police Chiefs Association.

Saturday’s event surely helped in that regard, but constant reminders are needed to keep emergency personnel safe. To that end, we ask you to “move over” whenever you see them on the roadside, making travel safer for everyone.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact.