Every day on our nation’s roadways, law enforcement put their lives at risk to protect the public—especially out on the road. Four officers were hit while working crashes in less than a week on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One of the most dangerous parts of an officer’s job is stepping out on the side of the road, whether it is to assist a motorist, for a traffic stop, or to investigate a crash. From 2007-2017, of the 1,641 officers killed in the line of duty, more than one-third (39%) of those were killed in traffic-related incidents. In an effort to protect those who protect us, every state has “Move Over” laws, requiring drivers to move over and/or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles.

Chief Papania stressed the meaning behind the awareness campaign. “Many drivers seem to think that moving over is an optional courtesy when they see law enforcement or emergency vehicles on the side of the road. It’s not, Slow down and Move Over. It’s the Law. 

In an effort to combat an increase in traffic collisions, aggressive driving, speeding, and enforcement of the Move Over Law the Gulfport Police Department will be conducting increased traffic enforcement on Interstate 10 over the coming weeks.

Violators who fail to slow down or move over can be fined up to $250 and up to $1,000 if there is damage to the official vehicle or injury to any driver or passenger of a vehicle under Mississippi Code of 1972 Section 63-3-809. 

Emergency personnel can only do so much to keep themselves safe when they pull over on the side of the road. The rest of the responsibility falls on other motorists. Next time you see those flashing lights on the side of the road, Move Over. It’s the Law.



Approved for release by: Lt. Joshua Bromen
Date September 18, 2019