In the wake of last Friday’s crash in Southport, AAA Northeast strongly urges motorists to consider the potential danger emergency responders including tow truck drivers put themselves in when they assist disabled motorists on our interstates.
“Connecticut has a “Slow Down, Move Over” law — which means just that,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “When a driver sees an emergency vehicle, whether it’s a state police cruiser, fire truck, ambulance, or a tow truck with activated lights, drivers need to reasonably slow down below the speed limit.” And if possible, they should move to the adjacent lane to give responders space to operate, she said.
Last Friday evening, two parked AAA Northeast vehicles with emergency lights activated — a flatbed and battery van, assisting a disabled motorist on I-95’s Exit 19 on ramp — were involved in a multi-vehicle crash with at least one AAA employee hospitalized. Police continue to investigate the incident.
Connecticut’s Move Over law was passed in 2009 to protect drivers of emergency vehicles, who assist disabled motorists on state roads. Fines range up to $2,500 if injuries are caused; and up to $10,000 if deaths result.
Although most publicized incidents involve state police, AAA Northeast tow truck drivers also experience near-hits. Since the beginning of the year, media accounts have reported nearly a dozen near — hits of emergency responders on state roadways.
AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 62 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, providing more than 2 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.