Auto Club of Southern Calif. Seeks to Educate Drivers About Emergency Traffic Scenes
LOS ANGELES --- AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California have launched a campaign aimed at reminding motorists that California state law requires them to slow down and move one lane away, if safe to do so, when they approach emergency traffic scenes.
Each year, approximately 200 roadside workers are killed in crashes and as many as 800 deaths occur among motorists in highway work zones or in locations where motorists are being attended to, according to the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition. Countless more workers and vehicle occupants are injured.
According to the California Vehicle Code, when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck on the freeway that has its emergency lights flashing, drivers must move out of the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so. If it is unsafe to change lanes when approaching the emergency vehicle, drivers must slow down and pass the vehicle cautiously.
"Southern California traffic can be frustrating, especially since up to half of traffic congestion is caused by incidents such as crashes or breakdowns," said Steve Finnegan, the Auto Club's government affairs manager. "But no matter how frustrated drivers are, they need to remember that emergency vehicles' flashing lights are a signal that they must slow down and steer clear of the emergency scene to reduce the chance of yet another tragic death or injury."
The "Slow Down, Move Over" campaign will include public service announcements and other outreach efforts by AAA-sponsored NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Driver David Ragan.