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Posted March 31, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Virginia businesses display 'Move Over' decals on trailers traveling interstates

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The following is a press release from the Virginia State Police:

RICHMOND - Virginia's "Move Over" law is receiving additional attention with the help of public/private partnerships between Houff Transfer Inc., Lawrence Transportation Systems, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the Virginia Trucking Association and Virginia State Police. The collaboration was unveiled Thursday, March 26, 2009, at a press conference at Houff Transfer Headquarters located in Weyers Cave, Va. The joint efforts are an extension of the Virginia State Police public awareness campaign that began more than a year ago to call attention to the 2002 statute.

Virginia's "Move Over" law requires motorists to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to slow down when passing emergency personnel stopped out on the road. Nationwide, in 2008, 18 law enforcement personnel were struck and killed while standing outside of their vehicles. **

Virginia is one of 40 states with a Move Over law. Violation of the law carries a punishment of up to a $2,500 fine and/or 12 months in jail.

"If first responders aren't safe on the side of the interstate, who is?," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "Partnering with these trucking companies not only advances our educational outreach of the "Move Over" law, but also helps make Virginia's roads safer for everyone."

Houff Transfer, Inc., and Lawrence Transportation Systems, both Virginia-based trucking companies, have replicated the red "Move Over" labels displayed on the back bumper of Virginia State Police patrol cars. Both companies placed the 12 x 14 decals on their company trailers a few months ago. As more trailers are updated through the spring, additional bumper stickers will be added to each company's mid-Atlantic fleet.

"Safety is a priority for our company and it's something we pride ourselves on, especially as a business recognized for its safety record," added Doug Houff, President of Houff Transfer, Inc. "We want to help educate the community about this important law and protect our emergency responders at the same time."

Since October 2008, approximately 200 delivery trucks and vans belonging to Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated have been featuring "Move Over" signs. The placards, 12 x 6 in size, are smaller versions of the yellow-and-white "Move Over" highway signs posted along Virginia's interstates. The Coca-Cola trucks carrying the signs travel within the Southwest region of the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Trucking Association (VTA) is also assisting in this joint effort. The association, a statewide, non-profit group with a membership of 550 trucking companies, is now featuring information about Virginia's "Move Over" law on its Web site. VTA members can download the information and use it for future driver safety meetings. In addition, state police participated with the VTA during two of the organization's "Safety Break" programs in 2008, where "Move Over" educational brochures were distributed to motorists traveling Interstate 81.

For more information regarding the Move Over law, brochures and public service announcements, visit the Virginia State Police Web site at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov.

*Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

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