On a daily basis, emergency responders put their lives on the line along Missouri’s highways responding to crash scenes. These responders include police officers, fire fighters, EMS, tow truck operators and highway workers. They respond to traffic incidents, assist drivers, and help keep traffic flowing.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), traffic incidents are the leading cause of death for EMS responders and law enforcement officers. To remind motorists what’s on the line, the FHWA has declared the week of Nov. 13-17 as National Crash Responder Safety Week.

“During Crash Responder Safety Week, we urge all drivers to remember that our dedicated first responders are out there every day, working tirelessly to keep our roads safe,” said MoDOT’s Safety and Emergency Management Director Chris Engelbrecht. “They risk their lives to protect us, so show respect, obey the state’s move over law, avoid distractions and slow down when approaching emergency vehicles on the road.”

Missouri’s Move Over law requires drivers to either change lanes or slow down when approaching stationary MoDOT, law enforcement or other emergency vehicles with flashing lights on. To help protect those who protect us, all 50 states enforce some form of the Move Over law.

In 2022, more than 54,000 traffic crashes were reported on Missouri roadways that required emergency response. MoDOT emergency response personnel respond to more than 4,500 traffic incidents each month on average.

Crash Responder Safety Week is an opportunity to remind drivers to adhere to Missouri’s Move Over law, educate drivers on crash prevention and promote life-saving training for all traffic incident responders.

“Let’s give our responders the space they need to perform their work safely so we can all get home safely to our families each day,” said Engelbrecht.