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First responder media event Nov. 9 to promote Crash Responder Safety Week and Michigan's Move Over Law

Contact: Ron Tennant, Grand Rapids Fire Department, 616-456-3981 Agency: Transportation

LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Traffic Incident Management Action Team and the Delta Township Fire Department are hosting a media event to bring awareness to Crash Responder Safety Week (Nov. 8-14) and Michigan's Move Over Law. The event will highlight the importance of drivers slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles, as well as safely managing traffic incidents and preventing secondary crashes. First responder vehicles and a traffic incident management demonstration will be available.   

WHO: AAA Michigan Eaton County Central Dispatch Delta Township Fire Department Grand Rapids Fire Department Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) staff Michigan State Police staff Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning staff Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, State Fire Marshal Michigan Towing Association Michigan's Traffic Incident Management Action Team

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 10 a.m.

WHERE: Delta Township Fire Department 811 N. Canal Road Lansing, MI 48917

BACKGROUND: Each year across the country, hundreds of emergency responders are struck and injured or killed while responding to traffic incidents. Crash Responder Safety Week (formerly known as National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week) will focus on teaching everyone that we have a shared responsibility for safely and quickly clearing traffic crashes as well as slowing down and moving over.

Unfortunately, first responders are still being struck and killed or injured at an alarming rate. In 2020, a traffic crash was reported in Michigan every 2 minutes and 9 seconds, resulting in 245,598 traffic crashes. Emergency vehicles were involved in 2,253 of these crashes, including four fatal crashes and 355 injury crashes. Safety, emergency, local, and state groups and organizations around Michigan will use the week to educate drivers and local public safety professionals about the dangers of traffic incident response in an effort to prevent injuries and deaths. 

Michigan residents can join the effort by ensuring their vehicle is in good working condition, packing a roadside emergency kit, and remaining in their vehicle until help arrives. When driving near an incident scene, Michigan's Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move over, if possible. This law applies to stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated, including roadside tow trucks and courtesy vehicles operated by MDOT. It also applies to garbage trucks, road maintenance, and utility service vehicles that have amber lights flashing.