9OYS Safety Watch
'Move Over' or get pulled over: DPS steps up enforcement on freeways
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - 'Move over'. That's what the Department of Public Safety is asking you to do. Anytime you see flashing lights, pull over to the side of the freeway. If you don't, you could wind up coughing up some cash.
"Our biggest danger is the motoring public that could run into us," said DPS officer David Hopkins.
9OYS hit the road with Hopkins to see up close the dangers they face.
Cars zip up and down the interstate at 75 to 80 miles per hour. It poses a serious danger, so when the hazard lights are flashing DPS wants you to "move over."
"People are talking on the phone or doing anything but paying attention to driving," said Hopkins.
It's a common infraction along the freeway. Officer Hopkins spots an offender, picks up speed, turns on his siren and pulls the driver over. He explains the law to the driver. The driver tells Hopkins he knows about the law and just made a mistake. Hopkins issues a warning.
"We were watching him," said Hopkins. "He just wasn't paying attention today and that's one of the biggest things out here."
It doesn't take long to zero in on another guilty driver just zooming by in the right lane. Hopkins pulls them over too. These drivers are snowbirds. They say they're unaware of the "Move Over" law. He issues another warning.
Hopkins tells 9OYS ignorance of the law is not an excuse, especially when their lives are on the line.
"Any time we're out of that car, it's dangerous out there," Hopkins said. "It's our main goal to go home to our families."
Too many don't make it home. Nationally, one officer and 23 highway workers are killed every month by drivers that don't move over.
"Simple things like moving over makes it safer on all of us," said Hopkins.
A statewide campaign has been launched to raise awareness about Arizona's "Move Over" law, hoping it'll prevent deadly roadside crashes. DPS will enhance enforcement of the law throughout the month of March. DPS may issue citations. Those come with up to a $250 fine.