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Virginia’s year-old move over law may need strengthening or reinforcement.

Monday, two state police cars were struck on the shoulder of Interstate 64 in Hampton. The two troopers, D.E. Jackson and W.T. Desper, suffered no injuries.

A few weeks ago, a tow truck driver who had stopped along I-64 in the same area to assist a distressed driver was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Williams Charles Burns has been charged in the death of Andy Craig Starmer.

Looking outside Hampton Roads, I see that early Tuesday morning, a police officer and two paramedics stopped to deal with a crash near Miami, Florida (FL), narrowly avoided injury when a second car slammed into the police cruiser.

The message that drivers who see a police cruiser or emergency vehicle on the side of the road must slow down or change lanes is not getting through. Even enacting a law that makes drivers who strike a parked emergency response vehicle in Virginia subject to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine has not seemed to do the trick.

Do I know the answer? No, unfortunately. Though more public service messages like the following might help.

Police and emergency work are dangerous enough, and the public services these dedicated professionals provide are invaluable. They should not have to take their lives in their hands every time they step outside their vehicles along the roadside.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the Northeast North Carolina (NC) border. Lawyers with the firm practice primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handle injury law cases, including car, truck and railroad accidents, medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is Lawyers with Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton also edit the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and have compiled a video library covering many FAQs on personal injury subjects. The firm’s lawyers are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY.


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