RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police are reminding drivers Thursday night to move over when they see flashing emergency lights on the shoulder.
State troopers have been helping drivers all day as they work an increased number of crashes, and the last thing they want to think about is a careless driver endangering their safety.
“People get focused on the lights and tend to not look at what’s in front of them, and if the traffic starts stopping quickly, at that point they’ve got to go left or right, and a lot of times it’s right in the path of where we are,” Sargeant Stephan Vick told 8News reporter Mark Tenia.
Vick added that the department has seen a number of close calls. By this afternoon, the Richmond Division had already received 209 phone calls to help drivers, with 148 of those being crashes. That number is expected to rise as the sun goes down, leaving troopers helping stranded drivers on shoulders across the area, which is why they remind everyone…
“If you see those blue lights, or amber or red, flashing, just please if you can move over and give us the room we need,” Vick said.
Vick says it’s not only for their safety, but for everyone on the road.
“You’re always mindful of the conditions around you and you’re always mindful of the traffic that’s coming by for your safety as well as the person you have there with you,” he said.
And while police say it’s not always possible to move over, if it is and you don’t, you are breaking the law.
“If you have time to move over and you don’t and you speed by, the trooper can stop you and ticket you for that,” Vick said.