Trooper: Not enough drivers move over for emergency vehicles

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(WTNH) — When you see and hear an emergency vehicle, you’re supposed to move over and give them room, but officials say people aren’t paying attention.

Trooper Randall Tavares started his afternoon shift on Interstate 84 with lights and sirens, but as he headed out to help a stranded motorist, people weren’t helping him. They don’t pull over, they don’t follow the law and they’re slowing him down when the seconds count.

“Some people just freeze up, or are texting, talking on their cell phone, for whatever reason, they just don’t pay attention,” said Trooper Tavares.

Getting out of the cruiser by the side of the highway is one of the more dangerous moves officials have to make during their shift. That’s why Connecticut has the move over law. If you see an emergency vehicle by the side of the road, you must move one lane if you can to give them room.

“At times it does get a little scary with people not moving over and obeying that law. There is not a lot of room on the side of the road and that whole move over law is basically to keep us safe,” said Tavares.

Hours later, Tavares responded to another accident on I-84 with several people injured. It happened during rush hour and as he tried to make his way through the traffic, Tavares says one person wearing earbuds didn’t hear him and didn’t pull over. Once he got to the scene, he said traffic was rolling by and many people are not even looking at the road.

“People don’t realize it, but there are a lot of troopers that get hit on the highway, which is why we enforce the move over law,” said Tavares.

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