FHP Launches Awareness Campaign after Trooper’s Death

Chelsea-Richards

FHP Trooper Chelsea Richard is laid to rest on May 8, 2014

By: Sharon Aron Baron

As Florida mourns the loss of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, who lost her life in May in a deadly traffic crash on Interstate 75, the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Police  Chiefs Association, the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Florida Sheriff’s Association are designating June 2014 as “Move Over – Slow Down – Save a Life” month.

chelsea-richard-trooper-killed-050314

Chelsea Richard

During the month-long safety campaign, law enforcement officers will work together to better educate the public about the law and the threat that ignoring it can pose to first responders.

“Our troopers are out there every day working traffic stops and crash scenes along busy highways with cars speeding past them, often just feet away,” said Col. David Brierton, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “And every day they face the real possibility of never going home to their families because someone fails to obey the Move Over law.”

Understanding Florida’s Move Over law:

  • The law protects law enforcement officers, emergency workers and tow truck drivers stopped along roadways while performing their jobs;
  • It requires motorists to move over when a patrol car, emergency vehicle or tow truck/wrecker is stopped on the side of a road with lights flashing. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, motorists shall slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
  • Approach the emergency vehicle with caution;
  • Violating the Move Over law puts motorists and public safety professionals at risk.

The phrase Move Over is more than just words. It is an action required on everyone’s part in order to make Florida’s busy roads safer for everyone—whether they are first responders or stranded motorists waiting for assistance. If you see anyone on the side of the road, Move Over for their safety. A life depends on it!

 

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac and to give resident's a forum. We are not affiliated with the City of Tamarac. That's why this site can be occasionally opinionated and obviously open.

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  • Jim

    Move over and slow down I certainly agree with. FHP must also use some common sense and not depend on motorists to have ESP. Last week, at night on I-10 west of Jacksonville, west bound traveling just UNDER the speed limit I crested an overpass. I was in the right lane, two FHP units were at the bottom of the crest off the pavement (barely) with their lights on in the mediium. They COULD NOT BE SEEN until you crested. People were slamming on brakes and we nearly had a wreck. One FHP unit should have been on top of the overpass so oncoming traffice could see them from a mile away. FHP, use some common sense would go a long way towards safety. In this case it would have meant one trooper would have had to walk 300 feet +-, safety ??

    • hwy505

      What was the specifics of the police action at the scene? You state that they were “Off the pavement” whether barely or on, is the same. I suggest that you may want to find out why they were situated like that before passing judgment – and yes I am a retired Highway Patrolman.

      • Jim

        What ever the purpose of their being stopped is not a reason for an unsafe practice. One unit should have been placed at the top of the crest, yes with blue lights on. Both units were stopped with blue lights on on at the bottom of the crest. The overpass blocked any visibility from oncoming traffice. Both officers were out of their units with clip boards, approaching thier units from the west, in the medium. What they were doing I could care less. IF a west bound vehicle had passed them on the inside lane, the units were off the pavement and would not have been hit (might have gotten their attention for a vehicle to pass that close at 70 + mph), the officers were off the pavement and were not in danger. The issue is traffic driver’s reaction when cresting an overpass and seeing blue lights suddenly in front of them. The first reaction is to hit the brakes and clear the lane. This is what the reaction was, clearly if the drivers could see a blue light situation in front of them by advance warning, they would have been clearing the inside land and slowing down in advance instead of an immediate reflex reaction. You as a retired LEO know this. Had there been an accident (and their nearly was, I nearly rearended the vehicle in front of me due to his panic slamming on brakes. I was a good 150ft behind him but at over 66ft per second, you cover ground very quickly.) It would of interest to know how many times that repeated in the time the officers were present. I Thank You for your service to the citizens of Florida.