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Move-over law is nothing new

Deputies use new law to trap driver | Sept. 7 letter

Move-over law is nothing new

The letter writer is apparently not up on his traffic laws as drivers on the road should be.

The move-over law, or scam as the writer called it, has been in effect since July 1, 2002. It requires motorists to approach cautiously when an emergency vehicle is stopped with its lights flashing. If it can be done safely, it requires drivers to change lanes. If changing lanes is not possible it requires drivers to slow down to a safe speed. The law was put into place to protect not only law enforcement officers on the side of the road but the same law applies to fire or EMS personnel and tow trucks and their drivers as well.

Many emergency workers are killed each year in accidents that could have possibly been avoided if the drivers would have followed the law or quite simply been courteous enough to move over to allow the men and women putting their lives on the line room to work.

The law has been advertised on both local radio and television. If you walk into most county buildings you will see posters or educational material. There have been billboards within Hernando County also.

Are all drivers who are pulled over stopped for traffic violations? Not always. The person whom the deputy has pulled over on the side of the road may be a real criminal, someone who just committed a burglary or other crime against a person. The deputy may have also just pulled up behind the motorist who is broken down, lost or in need of other assistance. It is nice to know that there are men and women out there keeping the roadways safe.

Remember that driving is a privilege, not a right, so if you do not want to follow the laws there may be a price to pay. Let's all try to be a little more courteous and follow the rules of the road. As for the Sheriff's Office, keep up the great work!

Carlo Daleo, Brooksville

Law was enacted to save lives

Of all traffic laws this one makes a lot of sense. Think about it: Would you intentionally speed through a school zone? Would you intentionally speed through a construction zone? Probably not, so why can't people cut the men and women in law enforcement a break. Prior to this law's enactment there were 1,793 incidents of crashes involving law enforcement officers on the side of the road leading to 419 injuries and five fatalities and that was only up to the year 2000.

It is amazing it took so long to come up with a law to protect the roadside officer and first responder. This law is no different from any other traffic law that you should know as a driver. The state has this law posted at all rest areas and traffic plazas and it has been public knowledge since its inception in 2002. Police and fire emergency vehicles are visible for quite some distance giving drivers the opportunity to move.

Florida is not the only state to have this law, and if other police agencies decide to give warnings on the first offence that would seem to be their discretion, but how many warnings did the first responders and law enforcement officers who lost their lives on the side of the road get? None, that's how many.

Slow down and change lanes; it's the easiest way to save lives and citation costs.

Michael Batchelder, Brooksville

Quick response to fire call a comfort

Aug. 23 is a day we will always remember. After working in the yard and jumping into a refreshing pool, my wife, Ellie, dropped a bomb. She said, "There is smoke throughout the house."

We called 911, which we learned was a mistake. By calling 911, they have to relay the message to the Fire Department and that takes time. (We now know to have fire and police numbers handy.) In less than 10 minutes, they were there with three trucks and an ambulance. There were no less than a dozen firemen dressed in full gear — masks, oxygen, axes, shovels — to fight a house fire.

They searched the house, inside and out, and found the source of the smoke possibly caused by lightning in the attic air conditioning unit.

Frightening? Yes, but also a wonderful feeling to have so many emergency personnel respond so quickly and so ready to face the worst.

Our emergency was one of many calls for help. In turn, don't hesitate to help them when you have an opportunity.

Wesley and Ellie Crail, Spring Hill

Heimlich could save your life

While eating at a local restaurant I choked on a morsel of food. My airway was blocked and I knew I was in trouble and could not breathe. The panic was immediate. I responded by pushing my clenched fists into my abdomen as hard as I could. It took several attempts, but thankfully the food dislodged and I took deep breaths to restore my breathing. It was painful and frightening.

It could happen to you. If it does, remember the self-administered Heimlich. It could save your life, it saved mine.

Jim Caputo, Spring Hill

SPCA wonderful, students weren't

Let me say we have a wonderful SPCA. I recently went to the SPCA on a Saturday. It was extremely busy and there were three young people sitting outside the entrance. One of the students was speaking loudly using the F-word frequently. On my way inside I commented to the male who was using the language. On the way out he made several remarks to me, I ignored him; however, he then decided to yell at my husband.

I did report this incident to the SPCA when we left and their wonderful staff took care of it. I feel if the judges are going to require community service, someone needs to make rounds and check on these young people. Ideally, it should be someone they do not know.

I've seen this more than once at other businesses. The judges need to be more specific on what work these people are assigned to do. They are not learning anything of value if they do nothing. These students are there because of their choices. The wonderful volunteers do not need to be doing extra when the students are available.

I have only praise for the SPCA staff, which is doing a wonderful job with the conditions they have to work under. I praise them for their contribution to Hernando County.

Yvonne Monsour, Weeki Wachee

Cash path to Senate uneven Sept. 7 article

Taylor's attack on Fasano is ironic

I was disappointed reading the latest article about Sen. Mike Fasano's opponent in the upcoming general election. As is typical of this time of year, candidate Fred Taylor is throwing mud at Sen. Fasano for raising money for his re-election.

I find it ironic that Mr. Taylor would accuse Sen. Fasano of taking money from special interests when he himself has taken over $40,000 from the Florida Democratic Party. Where does he think that money comes from? It is not from a tree at the Kennedy compound, it is from lobbyists and special-interest groups.

Pat Rague, Port Richey

Move-over law is nothing new 09/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2008 3:33pm]

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