Pro and Con (sorta) for the ‘Move over Law’

Published 3:31 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

To the Editor:
Sunday, June 5, around 1 p.m. Con — sort of: My son was driving us on I-26 going from Johnson City to Kingsport. A policeman had a vehicle pulled off in the emergency lane on the right hand side of the highway, J.C.
My other son and his girl friend were about two cars ahead of us in the left lane. My son and I merged into the left lane and was already braking for slower traffic as soon he saw the police car on the right shoulder. Slowing and unable to put much space between us and the car behind which we had merged, suddenly the car in front of us stopped and hit the emergency left lane. We came upon the car in front of him stopped. We had to do a hard stop to avoid wrecking as there were four or five vehicles already either stopped or almost stopped, as well as the one about two cars ahead where my other son was stopped. There were no cars in the right hand lane where the policeman was for many had hazardously merged to the left. Had they remembered, the Move over Law says if you can’t SAFELY move over you slow down — not stop — and of course, pass the emergency vehicle in a slower, safer speed.
The key word is SAFETY. All the drivers that merged left on a 60 mph highway almost caused a five- or six-car pile-up, so don’t merge if you cannot do it safely, but slow down to pass the stopped emergency vehicles. It also doesn’t mean stop. Thankfully, no wrecks occured of which I know, and we all went on our way — safely.
Pro: A couple of years ago, my son and I were coming from Kingsport to Johnson City. It was dark and rainy when as we drove, we spotted a large truck somewhat ahead of us with their hazard lights on. We couldn’t tell what kind of vehicle it was so we moved over to the left lane as the truck appeared to be on the right shoulder emergency lane. As we topped an incline and came upon the truck, we saw that it was not on the shoulder but was actually in the right hand lane of moving traffic. The Move over Law, though we could not tell if there was an emergency, really saved us from a possible collision.
Please drive carefully. Our police officers are important to our safety. Also, use care and leave one car length behind the car in front of you for every ten miles per hour you are moving. And thank you. The life you save may be mine or a life of a family member, a friend, or even a perfect stranger.

Janet Hyder

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