From the Kenosha PD: Slow down and move over for roadside maintenance and emergency workers
A Walking Miracle is what Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy, Tim Johnson, has been called.
He said he never saw the car coming that almost killed him. Surrounded by orange cones and flashing lights, Johnson was clearing an accident on I-94 near Miller Park when a car struck him. He was thrown 35 feet in the air and landed, head first, on a concrete barrier.
Johnson spent weeks in a coma. The doctors told his family he might not make it, but one day he opened his eyes and has been on a steady path to recovery ever since.
Drivers were supposed to move over or slow down as the law requires. Tim was supposed to be safe.
Nearly every day highway department employees are working on the side of the road. “You can’t go out there on a daily basis without having a close call,” one supervisor said of the safety hazard associated with highway traffic.
Daily, vehicle crashes and high speeds put law enforcement, maintenance crews, and emergency workers at risk. These employees wish more drivers would obey the law by moving over or slowing down to create a safety zone for vehicles parked on the side of the road with flashing lights. Wisconsin State Statute 346.072 requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down in order to create a “safety zone” for a law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, or highway maintenance vehicle stopped on the side of the road with its warning lights flashing.
Drivers have two options for creating the safety zone:
If the road has more than one directional lane, like Highway 50, Green Bay Road, Sheridan Road, or the Interstate, vehicle operators must attempt to move over to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle.
If the road has a single directional lane, like most city sidestreets, or the vehicle operator cannot safely move over, vehicle speed must be reduced.
Drivers who fail to move over or slow down put others in harm’s way. The consequences are serious. Just as the penalties for work zone violations are usually doubled, the fine for the “Move Over” law can be as much as $300 and a license suspension for up to two years. Not one of these penalties comes close to the cost the victims pay. Just ask Deputy Tim Johnson. He is still recovering from his injuries.
Please obey the law! Move over or slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle or highway maintenance vehicle on the side of the road. Better yet, move over when you see any vehicle on the side of the road. Your safety and the safety of those around you are at stake.