Updated: September 27, 2022
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation and its federal, state, county and community partners remind Hawaiʻi motorists to move over or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles during Crash Responder Safety Week, Nov. 8-14.
The first initiative to raise awareness of the need to give responders space to safely work on the side of the road was declared by the Federal Highway Administration in 2016.
Under Hawaiʻi’s Move Over Law, a driver who injures or kills a person at the site of a roadside emergency may be charged with negligent homicide or negligent injury.
“Our emergency responders work every day to keep our roadways safe,” said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Changing lanes or slowing down not only helps keep them safe—it’s the law.”
Traffic incidents are the number one cause of death for emergency responders nationwide. In Hawaiʻi the most recent fatality involving crash response was in August when the patrol vehicle of a HPD officer assisting a motorist was struck from behind. The person killed was the passenger in the vehicle that rear-ended the patrol vehicle.
“The Move Over law helps to protect everyone on the road,” said Acting Major James Slayter of the HPD’s Traffic Division. “At the end of the day, we all want to get home safely.”