17:00 PM

AAA – The Auto Club Group Urges Motorists to Slow Down, Move Over to Protect Tow Operators, First Responders

Campaign is aimed at reminding motorists of Michigan's Slow Down, Move Over law

DEARBORN, Mich., (January 21, 2020) — AAA-The Auto Club Group urges all motorists to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, tow service operators and road crews working alongside multi-lane roadways as part of its ongoing Slow Down, Move Over campaign. The campaign is aimed at reminding motorists of Michigan's Slow Down, Move Over law and reducing deaths and injuries among the abovementioned along Michigan road ways.

While all fifty states have slow down, move over laws for emergency responders, which includes tow trucks, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know about these laws, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

AAA, which is in the business of rescuing millions of stranded motorists across the country each year, says about 23 roadside workers and first responders -- one every other week -- lose their life at the roadside, while hundreds more are injured while assisting motorists.

In Michigan, drivers are required to slow down to 10 mph below the speed limit when approaching stopped emergency or roadside assistance vehicles on controlled access highways. After determining it's safe, drivers must then move over to create a clear lane of traffic as they approach these vehicles including tow service, motorists assist units, law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service, road maintenance, solid waste haulers, and utility service vehicles.

If you are unable to move over due to road or weather conditions, or traffic congestion, slow down and maintain a safe speed while passing. Failure to do so may result in a fine up to $400. Causing death or injury to first responders can result in fines of up to $7,500 and/or up to 15 years in prison.

"Our roadside service providers will respond to over 30 million calls for help this year alone; delivering safety, security and peace of mind to our members," said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "We're asking for the public's support in protecting all first responders who come to the rescue of motorists. Slow down, move over as the lives of our highway heroes are on your shoulders."

To protect roadside workers and improve highway safety, AAA offers these precautionary tips:

  • Always remain alert. Avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving.
  • Maintain a visual lead of everything going on 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you. This gives you time to see problems ahead and change lanes and adjust speed accordingly.
  • Emergencies can occur anywhere on the road. When you see flashing lights, slow down and prepare well in advance to change lanes. Allow others to merge into your lane when necessary.
  • Don't follow semi-trucks or other large vehicles too closely. If a truck moves into a left-hand lane, don't speed around the right side. They are changing lanes for a reason; be prepared to change lanes yourself.
  • When road conditions are slick, don't make sudden lane changes which can cause an uncontrollable skid. Change lanes early and move over gradually.
  • If you are unable to move over, slow down to a safe speed taking into consideration that you are approaching a workspace where pedestrians are present.

For information on laws in other states, visit drivinglaws.aaa.com.

AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, banking, financial services, and travel offerings to over 13.5 million members across 13 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.