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senate Bill S. 2700

Should the Feds Fund Efforts to Make Drivers Aware of ‘Move Over’ Laws?

Argument in favor

First responders are performing an incredibly valuable service when they respond to roadside accidents. They shouldn’t be put at risk of injury in the course of performing their jobs, and educating drivers about moving over when first responders are on the side of the road is an important way to keep first responders safe.

jimK's Opinion
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11/16/2019
My first reaction was NAY, since laws are in place. A little more thought leads me to a YAY opinion instead. I know several people who are hard of hearing and do not hear warning sirens as soon as they should. I have seen well intentioned but distracted drivers navigating around accidents not 'register' that an emergency vehicle was approaching. I have seen very close calls for state police tending to vehicles on berms and have seen news reports of tragic impacts. I think that an in-dash digital warning indicator is an exceptional idea that, in scaled-up production would be a cost-effective way to protect first responders as well as drivers. The other stuff, like emergency braking and lane change alerts are similar. The more they are installed, the better and more economical they will become. No one needs to be unnecessarily injured, no driver needs to live with the knowledge that they critically injured someone by accidents that today's technology could have prevented from ever happening. This is a small price to pay.
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Eric's Opinion
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11/16/2019
Absolutely, I see comments about this should be a state law however our highways and freeways are federally funded and maintained. Besides safety should be on every level, State or federal
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Mindfulness's Opinion
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11/16/2019
It’s a National concern because we travel across State lines. Therefore, “move over” applies Everywhere, don’t you think?
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Argument opposed

Since all 50 states already have first responder laws in place, drivers are already responsible for knowing about Move Over laws if they’re on the road. There’s no need for additional education on this law. Additionally, there are some indications that Move Over laws are used to create revenue for police departments, which would be troubling if true.

JTJ's Opinion
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11/16/2019
Driver testing and licensing is a state responsibility. The federal government must learn to stay in its lane and do its own job of balancing the budget.
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Matthew's Opinion
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11/16/2019
As with seat belt and helmet laws, this is something that is best left to the states to decide and ultimately to fund.
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Caren's Opinion
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11/16/2019
No, not the federal government! This should be the responsibility of each state government. We don’t need the federal government controlling everything in our lives and involved in everything!! This is supposed to be the land of the free and not the land of the oppressed. We have standard laws to protect freedoms and law enforcement that should enforce those laws when others violate the rights of others.
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    My first reaction was NAY, since laws are in place. A little more thought leads me to a YAY opinion instead. I know several people who are hard of hearing and do not hear warning sirens as soon as they should. I have seen well intentioned but distracted drivers navigating around accidents not 'register' that an emergency vehicle was approaching. I have seen very close calls for state police tending to vehicles on berms and have seen news reports of tragic impacts. I think that an in-dash digital warning indicator is an exceptional idea that, in scaled-up production would be a cost-effective way to protect first responders as well as drivers. The other stuff, like emergency braking and lane change alerts are similar. The more they are installed, the better and more economical they will become. No one needs to be unnecessarily injured, no driver needs to live with the knowledge that they critically injured someone by accidents that today's technology could have prevented from ever happening. This is a small price to pay.
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    Driver testing and licensing is a state responsibility. The federal government must learn to stay in its lane and do its own job of balancing the budget.
    Like (42)
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    Absolutely, I see comments about this should be a state law however our highways and freeways are federally funded and maintained. Besides safety should be on every level, State or federal
    Like (27)
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    It’s a National concern because we travel across State lines. Therefore, “move over” applies Everywhere, don’t you think?
    Like (23)
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    As with seat belt and helmet laws, this is something that is best left to the states to decide and ultimately to fund.
    Like (18)
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    No, not the federal government! This should be the responsibility of each state government. We don’t need the federal government controlling everything in our lives and involved in everything!! This is supposed to be the land of the free and not the land of the oppressed. We have standard laws to protect freedoms and law enforcement that should enforce those laws when others violate the rights of others.
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    Yes. As a career emergency responder, I can state that I observed an increasing number of drivers who fail to follow this rule. I’ve witnessed people stop in the middle of the road, try to beat emergency vehicle, and I’ve nearly been struck by inattentive drivers while on the scene of an incident.
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    I drive near the Wisconsin-Illinois border and in the general Chicago area with some frequency. I also get to drive other areas that are less congested. Dick Durbin has good reason for this bill. The most frequent common denominator I see in all of these areas is the lack of respect drivers have for others on the road. The sense of entitlement and arrogance many drivers project in their driving behavior is actually quite obvious when attention is paid to other drivers’ aggressiveness. When driving in foggy conditions I can’t help but wonder how many of those driving without headlights on are highly narcissistic. Similar questions can be asked of those who fail to move over to make room for traffic entering via an on ramp, drivers who drive solely in the passing lane until they cut you off to make an exit, drivers who tailgate in an effort to get you to drive faster, ... . It’s no wonder first responders are at such risk.
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    The eight most feared words, “We’re from the government, we’re here to help.” One size does not fit all, The states should deal with their traffic laws as they know better what and how.
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    It’s pretty awful that we have to do this again, since laws are in place which cover this situation. One problem might bee that many states are like Kansas where no one getting a renewal on their driver’s license has to take a written test anymore. Another problem is people are not paying attention to their driving. They are looking at their phones or texting, etc. and there are people who are hard of hearing so they don’t hear warning sirens as soon as they should. These and other situations can lead to distracted drivers who drive around accidents, or just don’t realize they are active accidents. My husband was almost run over when we stopped to help people who had an accident. The drivers didn’t slow down or even act like they knew what the situation was. Police are always dealing with distracted or angry drivers who don’t want to slow down or navigate them tending to vehicles accidents. I think that an in-dash digital warning indicator is an exceptional idea that, in scaled-up production would be a cost-effective way to protect first responders as well as drivers. Our vehicle has activated blinders & beeps that tell us when we are within a certain distance of an object and it has emergency braking and lane change alerts are similar. It can be done at an economical price.
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    I’m with @jimK on this. My initial thought was... OMG, here we go again; another law and its accompanying expense to support and ultimately enforce another existing law. Being from California, I’d grown immune to distracted driving, even after hearing and watching all the news reports of the result of distracted driving, or as @jimK noted, hearing impaired people as well. Since relocating from San Francisco to rural Indiana 1.5 years ago, we have witnessed 1 as well as read of 2 additional serious accidents involving slow moving Amish family buggies, all within a 2 mile radius of home and all 3 of which were related to distracted driving by the driver of the motor vehicle. I’ve additionally witnessed on many occasions the failure of drivers to move over for emergency vehicles, and if its an emergency, the first responder isn’t planning to stop and issue a citation while enroute to an emergency. We have crash avoidance technology in both of our vehicles and even with this technology, it’s amazing just how quickly something can occur. I fully support any move that can draw real awareness to this issue, whether rural, suburban or urban.
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    YUP...
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    Some of you act like our roads EMS police and what not don’t get federal funding. They do.
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    This is one of those things you're supposed to be doing instead of supporting an imbecile due to party politics
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    That licensed drivers don’t realize they are to move over for emergency vehicles is simply astounding......be that as it may... yes they must educate these people
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    Yes
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    Better alerts will help prevent accidents.
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    Go to most major cities, drivers need education.
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    I love jimK’s response! I was a NAY at first too, but more thought does place me squarely on YAY! First: the educational aspect. As a 43 year driver in over a dozen major cities, I couldn’t understand how anyone would not know to move over, but I need to think of others, especially new drivers! I don’t use personal electronic devices in my car, but it is intertwined with many other drivers day-to-day, but use the technology for awareness, not as a crutch. And lastly, nothing “educates” me faster than a ticket, but again that’s me and I need to think of others first. Thanks jimK!
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    Yes! If we are able to save lives by making people more aware of move over laws, then we should!
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