KSP Trooper Bryan Judd with his family.

"Slow Down and Move Over" Kentuckians Urged to Protect Those Who Protect Us

FRANKFORT, KY — In an effort to protect those who protect us, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) is urging drivers to slow down and move over as possible when passing emergency vehicles.

"Every day on our roadways, emergency responders and public safety personnel put their lives at risk to protect the citizens of the commonwealth, and it's important to do what we can to support them in return," said Gov. Andy Beshear, who has made all aspects of highway safety a top administration priority. "Please slow down and move over to help keep these dedicated heroes safe as they work to protect the lives of Kentuckians."

Unfortunately, first responders are killed every year by drivers who fail to move over.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 149 law enforcement officers – just one category of first responders – have been killed in traffic-related incidents since 2017.

To raise awareness, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) is joining the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) and AAA to promote the "Slow Down and Move Over" message through Aug. 15.

KSP Cruiser slow down move over

"Slow Down and Move Over" Kentuckians Urged to Protect Those Who Protect Us

Kentucky passed a Move Over law in 2003 requiring motorists to move over to the adjacent lane when approaching an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle with flashing lights (KRS 189.930). If changing lanes is impossible or unsafe, motorists must slow down and use caution. Failure to do so can result in fines, jail time or both (KRS 189.993 (8)). Failure to comply can result in a fine, jail time or both.

The law is vital to protecting all of Kentucky's first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, safety service patrols and towing vehicles.

In 2003, KSP Trooper Bryan Judd was struck by a vehicle that failed to move over on I-75. He was responding to as collision, and as Trooper Judd opened his door to exit his cruiser, he was struck by another vehicle and thrown into the cruiser.

Trooper Judd had several injuries that resulted in multiple surgeries on his spine that could have left him paralyzed. After more than three years of recovery, Judd returned to work with KSP and has made it his mission to enforce the Move Over campaign and pleads with drivers to drive with caution.

"Thankfully, I was able to see my family again after the accident, but the next person may not be as lucky," said Trooper Judd. "Please move over and slow down for any law enforcement and emergency vehicle on the side of the road."

According to AAA, once every two weeks, first responders and roadside workers lose their life, and hundreds more are injured while tending to disabled vehicles. Despite "Move Over" laws being passed in all 50 states, 71 percent of Americans are unaware of "Move Over" laws that require drivers to reduce their speed and switch lanes to protect workers.

KSP will be reminding motorists of the "Move Over" law via social media. To find KSP on social media, visit our website.

The Beshear-Coleman administration's top priority is the safety of all Kentuckians. The Governor's public safety actions are creating safer communities and a better Kentucky now and into the future.

To further enhance public safety, Kentucky recently became the first in the nation to launch a 911 statewide, cloud-based, computer-aided dispatch system. KSP dispatchers now have a stronger ability to respond to 911 calls and non-emergency calls by communicating with a caller via text message, including with 34 different languages, and using specific location technology.

In June 2022, Gov. Beshear announced the Military to Law Enforcement Program (M-2-LE). M-2-LE allows local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to hire active service members within all U.S. military branches during their last 180 days of service.

In April 2022, the Governor signed legislation he championed the previous year to fund a $15,000 raise for all troopers and establish paid vacation, sick leave and holiday pay, as well as enhanced health insurance contribution payments for retired KSP troopers and commercial vehicle enforcement officers.

For the first time in the commonwealth's history, the Beshear-Coleman administration provided $12.2 million for KSP to purchase body cameras. Earlier this year, KSP demonstrated the new recording system, which will be distributed to approximately 780 sworn personnel.

Click here to review some of the additional actions the Beshear-Coleman administration has taken to support law enforcement, increase public safety and support crime victims.

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