BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - ALEA is encouraging drivers to try and move over for cars pulled off on the side of the road.
This past weekend, 8 people died in Jefferson County from traffic crashes and two of those victims were hit by another car while they waited next to their broken down vehicles.
Alabama has a “Move Over Law” that says if you see first responder’s flashing lights on the side of the road, you need to get into the other lane. If the other lane isn’t open, the law says you need to reduce your speed by 15mph. But, that law only applies to first responders, not any other driver.
Officials with ALEA tell WBRC drivers are pulling over onto the roadside everyday, and while you aren’t required by law to slow down or move over, it’s safer for everyone. Alabama law says the moment you exit your vehicle, even on a highway, you’re considered a pedestrian and it’s your responsibility to get as far from the roadway as possible. If you have to walk on the road, ALEA officials said to walk facing the cars and try and make eye contact with the drivers.
“The law doesn’t require motorists to pull over for disabled vehicles, however it is a common courtesy,” ALEA’s Corporal Reginal King said. “It creates an area that is conducive for everyone. It’s the pedestrians responsibility to remove themselves as far from the roadway as possible.”
“Motorists don’t realize how dangerous the roadside can be,” ALEA’s Corporal Reginal King said. “For instance, every interstate in Alabama the speed limit is 70 mph, so you have every other vehicle traveling at least 70 mph. There’s only a few feet of distance between the roadside and roadway. Anytime you are parked on that roadside, it is quite dangerous.”
Birmingham Police are investigating the two cases where the victims were waiting for a tow truck, but they tell WBRC that there is no update in either case. They suggest drivers call 911 and a patrol car will come sit with you until you’re safe.