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Traffic Safety Move Over Graphic 2019With Valentine’s Day approaching, February is the perfect month to show love and appreciation to those around you, including your local first responders: firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, tow truckers and patrol drivers from MassDOT’s Highway Assistance Program sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance.

There is no better way to show appreciation for first responders than by honoring the Move Over Law. This effort can help to ensure the safety of first responders and potentially save a life. MassDOT and MAPFRE Insurance want to remind motorists that moving over for these hard-working men and women is the best way to show your gratitude.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the biggest challenges a first responder can face is being struck by a vehicle while helping a motorist who has broken down or was involved in a car crash. In fact, prior to 2016, traffic-related incidents were the number one cause of officer fatalities in 15 of the last 20 years. NHTSA also informs that all 50 states have “Move Over” laws that declare one must change lanes away from a first responder or slow down significantly when they’re working on the side of the road. Massachusetts’ law went into effect in 2009, and failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $100. Mass.gov urges participation, stating, “All citizens are asked to make a personal pledge to always move over to make Massachusetts roadways safer for everyone.”

If you have ever broken down on the side of the road, you know how unnerving it is to experience cars rushing by, and for first responders this is a daily experience.  With the upcoming holiday for lovers, show your love by adhering to the Move Over Law; by doing so, you’re helping to eliminate tragedies that are preventable. Whenever you see flashing lights, whether it’s a Highway Assistance vehicle, tow truck driver or other first responders, please move over to protect the people who protect all of us. The Statewide Towing Association Inc. has advocated for the Massachusetts towing industry for over 45 years, providing information and education as well as championing legislation. 

Even the safest of drivers can find themselves stranded, which is why the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance is here to help with fixing minor mechanical problems, flat tires, fuel shortages, and emergency situations. The Highway Assistance Program drivers monitor some of the state’s busiest highways and turnpikes around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield & Cape Cod (seasonal). The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state roadways and interstates, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) from New York to Boston and the Incident Response Operators cover the Metropolitan Highway System and tunnels. The Highway Assistance Patrol is in service Monday–Friday between the hours of 6 a.m.–10 a.m. and 3 p.m.–7 p.m. During holidays, there are extended routes in heavy traffic areas. On I-90, and in Boston’s tunnel system, assistance is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. MAPFRE Insurance thanks you for showing the love for first responders!

Written By Patrick McDonald, CPCU, CEO, Northeast Region, MAPFRE Insurance

 

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