Move Over Law

May 09 - mkamplain
Our County
D. Gary Davis
County Mayor

The end of this years "school year” is fast approaching. The inevitable increase in traveling, to and from far and near, will soon be a part of our region, and the entire nation. This upcoming process started me to thinking of many items, but more specifically on two items for us all to consider to help protect our family, our community and also our public service employees. One involves a State Law and another involves a State recommendation.

Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-132 is commonly referred to as the "Move Over Law”. This law requires motorists to move over into an adjacent lane of traffic, when safe to do so, or alternatively to slow down when approaching emergency vehicles. These may be recovery vehicles (tow trucks), highway maintenance vehicles, solid waste vehicles, utility service vehicles and essentially the law applies to ANY responder vehicle with audible (sirens) or visual (flashing lights) signals that drivers may see on Tennessee roadways. Since 2006 this law has helped to provide a "safety zone” for these professionals to better be able to help motorist in their time of need in a safer environment for everyone involved in the process. The current penalty for violating the Move over Law in Tennessee is a maximum fine of up to $500.00 and also a possible 30 days in jail.

Even with the current law in place, TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) experienced the death of 3 workers who were struck and killed by passing motorists in 2016. A new emphasis has recently led to the development of the "move over / slow down” ad campaign and hopefully this will help many in our community, and beyond, see the need to be even more vigilant with defensive driving techniques that help to allow ALL to remain safe on our roadways this summer and all year long.

It has been jokingly referred to as a miniscule pest. For those of us old enough to remember Rodney Dangerfield, the insect most likely to have garnered his reputation for "getting no respect” would have had to be a mosquito. Many varieties and localities have their own species that they are famous for, but one that became "newsworthy” last year, remains one in which we continue to fight today. The Zika Virus is spread by the daytime active Aedes mosquitos, such as A. Aegypti and A. Albopictus. This process was first isolated in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda. These mosquitos hatch and then die in a very short time and during their brief lifetime they never travel more than 3 to 4 football fields, in any direction. The virus itself causes a relatively mild reaction and then the body appears to have returned to "normal”. The lingering effects to those females of child bearing age, should they become pregnant weeks and even months afterwards, have led to children being born with cognitive concerns and diagnoses.  

For the observant readers of health literature it would be difficult for a mosquito first found in Uganda to cause worldwide health concerns if they never travel very far themselves, and that would be true. But it is also true that people now travel literally around the world each and every day and this "mode of transmission” has helped to spread this "new” concern for even our area. Last year Tennessee had a recorded 66 cases of Zika in Tennessee from travelers to other areas where the disease exists in their local mosquito populations. Thanks to many collaborative efforts, Zika so far has been contained and there has been NO localized transmission anywhere in our state in studies through 2016. I ask ALL in our County to continue to reduce mosquito breeding areas by removing any standing water sources on your property, promote "fight the bite” protection strategies and continue to assist our local public health professionals if an outbreak may occur in the future. There should also be communication and dialogue between our health department and the ministry community during the time when many embark upon missions trips to many areas around the globe that may be an area of Zika concern.

Thank you for taking the time to read my articles and especially this one. The lives we save may be some in our own family, our own community and our own nation. Your help in keeping us ALL safe, through both, Move Over / Slow Down and Fight the Bight are even more reasons why Bradley County continues to be Tennessee at its best!

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