SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Saturday, Oct. 16, is National Move Over Day, and the New Mexico Department of Transportation has sent out a reminder to drivers about the importance of moving over for emergency vehicles in order to guarantee the safety of first responders.
The department said the day was created to remind drivers to change lanes or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles with flashing lights. Such action can guarantee that emergency responders and disabled drivers are separated from moving traffic at a safe distance.
Emergency vehicles include the following, according to NMDOT:
- Highway patrol;
- Coroner/medical examiner;
- National Guard;
- Any vehicle carrying life-saving equipment at crash sites or incidents (such as those involving a hazardous substance).
NMDOT emphasized that first responders work every day serving the public and many times, such job takes place in the middle or on the side of the road, which is why providing room for them to work is crucial, the department said.
“Emergency personnel can only do so much to keep themselves safe when they pull over on the side of the road,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. “The rest of the responsibility falls on other motorists. Many drivers seem to think moving over is just an optional courtesy. It’s not optional. If possible, always Move Over. It’s the Law.”
All 50 states in the U.S. enforce the Move Over Law. In New Mexico, drivers could face a $117 fine for not complying with the law.