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Move Over Month in Virginia Highlights Danger to First Responders

I am here to help you in your time of need.- Will Dudley

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Move Over Month in Virginia Highlights Danger to First Responders

We read on a regular basis about injuries to Virginia State Police troopers or fire or ambulance personnel. We have also represented tow truck workers who have been badly injured.

Often when they are helping out at an accident scene, other drivers fail to slow down or give them the space they need. The results can be devastating.

This month Virginia is highlighting the dangers with a series of billboards across the Commonwealth that read KEEP THEM SAFE.

It’s an important message and one that’s particularly relevant in Hampton Roads which has seen a spate of accidents in construction zones. A major $122 million widening project is underway on I-64 in Newport News. It has already been the scene of fatal wrecks.

The police, fire and rescue personnel and tow truck operators need all the space they can get.  The move over law says you should move left if you can if you see an emergency vehicle on the right side of the road. If you can’t safely move over, you should slow down.

June was designated as “Move Over Awareness Month” in 2014 by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The month highlights the dangers faced by emergency workers. Nationwide the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) said 134 law enforcement personnel had been between 2005 and 2014 when they were struck by a vehicle while on-duty. 

And the NLEOMF reports 14 law enforcement officers have lost their lives in traffic-related incidents this year. 

The ads were unveiled earlier this month by in Hampton by Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty of Virginia State Police who joined the City of Hampton Police, Fire and Rescue, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), AAA Tidewater and GB Towing and Auto Repair.

The ads will rotate on billboards along I-64, I-264, I-664 and U.S. Route 58 in Hampton Roads. Officials hope they will be seen by as many as half a million drivers.

If you see an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing on the highway, you should always exercise care. If you can’t move over safely, slow down. It’s the law and you could face a fine if you violate it. Read more about Virginia’s move over law here.

If you are a tow truck driver or a police officer who has been injured on duty, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the policy of the at-fault driver. Please call our Virginia auto accident lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O'Mara

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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