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Torrington fire officials remind drivers about Move Over Law after recent close calls

The warning comes after what firefighters call a worrying trend of close calls.

Marissa Alter

May 22, 2024, 9:26 PM

Updated 29 days ago

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Torrington fire officials are issuing a reminder about Connecticut’s Move Over Law that urges people to be careful and aware while driving near roadside scenes with emergency vehicles.
The warning comes after what firefighters call a worrying trend of close calls.
“It's getting more prevalent about vehicles hitting apparatus or hitting firefighters,” said Battalion Chief Patrick Doyle.
The most recent incident was Monday at the intersection of Central and Beechwood avenues, where crews responded to wires down in the road.
“A vehicle had come through the incident, got tangled up with the wires, which then in turn tangled up the firefighter, spun him around, and he was injured,” Doyle told News 12.
He said the firefighter hurt his arm and will be off for a couple shifts but plans to be back soon. It’s a situation that could’ve been even worse.
“We're just asking the public to really just be super focused when they're coming through an incident that we have our members working on,” Doyle said.
That incident wasn’t a one-off, according to officials. On May 8, crews responded to a crash on Route 8. Doyle said while on scene, a motorcycle came through and almost hit one of the engines. A picture posted on the fire union’s Facebook page shows just how close a call it was. There’s a skid mark from the motorcycle right near the truck.
The state’s Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down and give emergency responders space on the side of the road, but not everyone follows it, especially on highways, Doyle said. He explained in those cases, crews often use a truck as a blocking apparatus to shield firefighters working an incident. But in another instance on Route 8 this month, that blocking truck was almost hit several times, according to a Facebook post by the fire union. “Please do the best to slow down and move over. We want our members to go home at the end of the night. We don't want to get injured, or God forbid anything worse,” Doyle stated.
A violation of Connecticut's Move Over Law is an infraction, unless it causes death or injury to the emergency vehicle driver. If the person is injured, the violator faces a maximum $2,500 fine. If the person is killed, the violator faces a maximum $10,000 fine. Criminal charges can also be filed by police.


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