BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Holidays and travel go hand-in-hand.
Motorist safety is extremely important as travelers hit the road to get to their holiday destinations. However, the lives of emergency personnel, construction workers and those in disabled vehicles are just as important.
Ahead of the inclement weather around the winter holidays, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to move over for vehicles that are on the side of the road for any reason.
State law requires motorists to move over or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles with their lights activated.
"Obviously we want citizens of Ohio to be as safe as possible out on the road. We encourage seatbelt use," said Sgt. Shawn Fosgate, trooper at the OSHP Bowling Green post.
Since 1999, more than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed after being struck by vehicles along America's highways, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
On average, one law enforcement officer is killed every month as a result of roadside crashes.
Mason Dixon Polling and Research reports that 71 percent of Americans are unaware that the Move Over Law even exists.
Law enforcement officials are not the only ones who face the risk of death on the side of the road.
According to OSHP, "struck-by" crashes kill one tow-truck driver every six days, 23 highway workers a month and five firefighters a year, on average.
Stranded motorists with disabled vehicles have also been hit and killed.
Dashcam video has captured the scary moments when cars crash into police cruisers and other vehicles on the side of the road.
Recently in our area, a motorist crashed into an Oregon police cruiser. The officers and driver were unhurt and one passenger was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Another video from Marysville, Ohio, shows a semi slam into a vehicle that a state trooper had pulled over. No one was injured, but the video has since went viral.
In both of these instances, those involved were very lucky. It could have, and has been, a lot worse.
Every state in America has implemented the Move Over Law, and drivers who do not follow it are fined accordingly.
In Ohio, the fine can be up to $250. In some cases, the drivers pay a much higher price with the cost of someone's life.