PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As winter weather approaches, first responders are preparing for more accidents and crews want drivers to slow down and move over.
Ross/West View EMS officials told KDKA on Monday that they constantly fear for their safety when responding to accidents along major roadways.
"Since I've been here, in 24 years, that's probably the eighth vehicle that we've had struck while operating at an accident scene," said Greg Porter, the assistant director for Ross/West View EMS.
While on the scene of a four-car crash on I-279 last week, a tractor-trailer lost control and struck the back of an ambulance before flipping on its side.
"It is very frightening to see cars passing by at 80-plus miles an hour, and there is no time to react when we are standing there," Porter said.
The department wants the accident to remind drivers that it's the law to move over for the safety of everyone on the road.
"Whether it's a vehicle crash, disabled vehicle or traffic stop, for any type of activity that involves an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, people need to move over," Pennsylvania State Police trooper Melinda Bondarenka said.
Law enforcement will ticket and fine drivers who don't slow down or move over.
The first fine could be as much as $250.
"For the second offense, you won't pay more than $500 and third offense more than $1,000. So there is a lot of money involved in this," Bondarenka said.
Officials told KDKA there are some situations where drivers can't move over because of traffic, so drivers need to slow down and move as far over as they can in the lane.
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