Despite the deaths of two local officers on I-90, News 5 finds drivers still aren't moving over

Posted at 6:10 AM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 18:21:24-04

Despite the deaths of two local police officers who were both struck and killed on Interstate 90 in recent months, News 5 found that a significant number of drivers are still not moving over to make room for individuals who work along the roadways.

"It can be really dangerous," said Matthew Paugh, a tow truck operator for Vitalone's Towing in Willoughby.

"The violations happen all of the time, everyday," said Sgt. Todd Belcher of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

RELATED: Cleveland officer killed in hit and run crash on Interstate 90 identified as David Fahey

In a 15-minute stretch of time with Paugh, who was stopped on the berm of Route 2 in Willoughby, about 40 percent of vehicles did not move over or slow down.

Ohio's "move over" law states that drivers must move over, if there's room, for police and emergency vehicles as well as tow truck operators, construction and maintenance vehicles that are parked on the roadside with flashing, oscillating or rotating lights. If a driver is unable to move over, that driver must slow down.

"Some people do move over, but a lot of people don't," said Paugh, a father of four children.

Ohio State Highway Patrol renews push for "move over and slow down" campaign after recent tragedies

In the last five years, State Highway Patrol has nearly doubled the number of citations it has issued to drivers statewide who do not abide by the move over law. Troopers said that's because they're doing more active enforcement and because lawmakers broadened the law three years ago to include construction and maintenance vehicles.

Violators are subject to hundreds of dollars in fines and points against their license.

"If that lane to your left is available, move over" said Belcher who enforces the law. "It's for the safety of everyone along the side of the road."

In January, Cleveland police officer David Fahey was struck and killed along I-90 westbound in Cleveland while he was assisting others in the aftermath of a crash.

In September, Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez was also struck and killed in the same area during a traffic stop.

During a ride-along with state highway patrol, troopers stopped move-over violators along I-480 eastbound about every five minutes.

"I just want it home safe everyday," said Paugh.

MORE: Ohio drivers notfollowingmove over law, tickets have quadrupled since it took effect in 2011