Deadly penalties for disobeying 'Move Over' law

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - We've all been driving down the road and noticed something that causes us to suddenly change lanes. Whether it's tread from a tire or a loose object falling from a vehicle, someone has to remove it from the roadway. Sergeant Damon McDaniel says that's where law enforcement usually comes into play.

"Yes, I have on a white shirt, but it's almost like playing chicken in the roadway. You do take that chance true enough, but with the lights being illuminated on the patrol vehicle it draws the attention that you need to slow down," said McDaniel.

This past weekend a Jackson police officer was struck and killed while trying to remove a barbeque grill from the highway. Even though his lights were on, a driver neglected to move over.

"We hate to lose anyone, especially our brothers and sisters in blue. Our hearts go out to his family and that agency," said McDaniel.

When you see blue lights that means move over. If you can't move over, slow down to a very low rate of speed. When you don't move over, you're putting the life of law enforcement in danger.

"Some people try to just slightly move over, but maintain the same speed. Let's just say it's the interstate at 70 miles an hour, that's not it. You have to reduce your speed," said McDaniel.

The move over law falls under traffic violations which usually don't have a hefty penalty, but police say when a driver's negligence costs an officer their life, the penalty is much heftier than a fine.

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