For Everyone’s Safety – Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

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Provided by Prince William County Office of Communication

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, fire and rescue crews were assisting a vehicle fire on the busy intersection of Prince William Parkway and Balls Ford Road, when a FedEx delivery van struck the rear of Engine 522. The driver of the van was injured and transported to a local medical facility for further treatment. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained by the firefighters; however, the engine sustained moderate damage and the delivery van sustained extensive damage.

The Prince William County Fire & Rescue System would like to remind residents to adhere to Virginia’s Move Over Law when approaching a stationary or moving emergency vehicle with flashing, blinking, or alternative red, blue, or amber light or lights. Drivers are required to move over for vehicles of law enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, e.g.., ambulances, Fire & Rescue vehicles, utility vehicles that are towing or servicing disabled vehicles and road maintenance vehicles such as VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation).

To ensure the safety of first responders and motorists, when approaching a stationary vehicle with flashing, blinking, or alternative red, blue, or amber light or lights, drivers are required to move over one full lane. If you’re unable to safely move over, slow down/reduce speed when passing.

When traveling behind any moving emergency vehicle displaying warning lights and sounding a siren, motorists should stay at least 500 feet behind the emergency vehicle. Drivers should NEVER try to pass an emergency vehicle or speed up to stay ahead of it.

When an emergency vehicle approaches you from behind, drivers should look in their rear-view mirror to gauge the location of the emergency vehicle approaching and the flow of moving traffic. Motorists should safely move to the right, if possible. If you’re unable to move over, stay in your lane and safely stop your vehicle allowing the emergency vehicle to safely pass.

When traffic begins to resume, don’t move hastily; take a few seconds to look around before moving your vehicle. If reentering the roadway, scan your mirrors to be sure it’s safe to reenter into traffic. Use your turn signals before reentering to let other drivers know your intentions.

Failure to comply with Virginia’s Move Over Law is a single violation treated as a traffic infraction. Second or continual offenses may be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

For more information on Virginia’s Move Over Law, visit Virginia Department of Transportation and the Code of Virginia, Section 46.2-861.1.

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