CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Traffic safety advocates are reminding drivers about the new changes to the Move Over law, especially as Daylight Saving Time ends.
With more than 75% of all roadside deaths happening after dark, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), traffic safety advocates are reminding drivers to pay close attention to the Move Over Law.
“When you slow down and you fail to move over, this is what I have to deal with every single day and I don’t want to see anybody else deal with it either,” Brad Hughes, a Powhatan County Sheriff’s deputy, said.
He said roadside workers and rescuers are being struck by vehicles and getting injured or killed at an alarming rate.
In 2014, when Hughes was responding to a crash, he was hit by a distracted driver and lost both of his legs.
“I was helping a Chesterfield County officer with a 17-car crash. Before he knew it, he had hit three parked cars that had stopped and then ran into me, pinning me between the back of my unit and his truck. Ultimately causing me to lose my leg right here on Midlothian Turnpike,” he said.
Changes to the move-over law took effect July 1. Now, all drivers in Virginia must slow down and try to change lanes if any vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with lights or flares.
According to AAA, in Virginia, 30 people died in roadside crashes between 2017 and 2021. 21 of those crashes happened after dark and another four people were killed during dawn and dusk.
Hughes said when driving during the darker hours, make sure your headlights are working properly. If you’re pulled off to the side of the road, get to the highest point or stay inside your car with a seatbelt on until help comes.
“I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I can guarantee I’m going to make sure you come home alive through my story,” Hughes said.