Columbus Police Enforcing Georgia "Move Over" Law

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In his thirteen years on the force, Columbus Police Corporal Robert Taft lived through some close calls.

"Many times I've been almost struck while conducting traffic stops on the side of the road, especially at night, when its dark. Many times people don't see us," said Taft, a member of the Motor Squad.

There is a law on the books meant to protect cops like Corporal Taft, but most people don't know about it.

The Georgia "Move Over" law requires drivers to move to the next lane when they see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights pulled over on the road's shoulder.

If they can't do that safely, then they need to slow down to at or below the posted speed limit.

These cops say they have been nearly mowed over on several occasions by drivers not paying attention.

"It's very dangerous on the side of the roadways, especially on I-185. When we're on the side of the road, with our blue lights illuminated, vehicles won't more over," said Cpl. Taft.

"When your driving 70, 75 mph, it only takes half a split second before you realize you've veered off the roadway and directly into the path of these officers making traffic stops," said Lt. Mark Starling, who heads up the Traffic Enforcement Division for Columbus Police.

Friday, officers were nice to motorists in violation...but in the coming weeks, they won't be as lenient, as they prepare to stand up for their own safety.

Drivers better pay attention out there, because if you don't obey the "Move Over" law, you could be facing a whopping $500 fine.