DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Another Dayton Police officer is hit by a passing vehicle along I-75. It happened early Thursday morning near Stanley Avenue. The K-9 officer was responding to an accident when a pickup truck hit the cruiser. That officer and pickup truck driver were taken to the hospital and are expected to recover.
Police want to remind drivers to move over and slow down when passing emergency responders.
Every year, it happens again and again in Ohio. Law enforcement officers struck or nearly hit by passing cars while doing their job.
“Everyone is in a hurry, everyone wants to get where they are going as quickly as they can,” said, Lt. Mark Nichols with the Ohio State Highway Patrol
Two Dayton police officers were hit in the past week while responding to calls on the side of the highway. Lt. Mark Nichols said these incidents can be avoided but it’s going to take drivers changing their mindset.
“Make driving your priority. Don’t worry so much about what you are going to do when you get to where you’re going, how quickly can you get there and if you are angry at the driver next to you. We want you to focus on your driving. Reduce that speed, turn down your radio a little bit. Watch out and put that phone down.”
Not moving over and slowing down while passing an emergency vehicle with its lights on is against the law in Ohio. Drivers can face thousands of dollars in fines and even possible jail time.
“It makes it a little more safer for everybody out there if everybody takes a deep breath and start acknowledging there are other drivers around them and slows down,” said Lt. Nichols.
He said it’s also important to pay attention to those signs along the highway. They will alert you if there’s a crash ahead that you need to slow down for.
“I think some people see those but they don’t take any action . They don’t try to slow down and move over they maintain that speed, they get right up there. They see that the right lane is moving a little bit quicker –well that’s because the right lane is closed,” he said.
This law doesn’t just apply to law enforcement officers. You are also supposed to move over for tow trucks and highway workers.